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Full text of "Wordeater"

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Susan Zu 
Judy B® 

Stacy Biedansaaa 

II II 

Robert "Gap" Webl 
Lea Overcash 

Clarence Be id 
Jean Tyre 11 

Tom Van Horn 
Dav® O'Brien 



Bosemary Srosi 

Debbie Morris 



Clarence Held 
Pat Roeaier 
.Susan Supancie 
Judy Belfield 
Jennifer Jones 
Charlotte Pennington 
Sandra Seardon 
Judy Belfield 
C. L, Weatherford 
Anita Rutkowski 
Debbie Morris 
Jeanette L« G ruber 



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Being Bald And Loving Every Minute Of It •••••••••••• 1 

Does It Have To Do With Me?. •••.»..•••..• ••.•••• 2 

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Before I Fall Asleep ..12 

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Better I Than A Stranger. ................. • ..••»•••• 15 




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tthU, ttht'A 



Lynetie Fields 
Paul Houser 
Susan Fiens 
Steve Faros 
Christie Doyle 
Judy Belfield 
Stacy Biedermann 
Uileen Darin 
Vickie Canaichael 
Judy Belfield 
Susan Zupancic 
Bobert 5, Gap" Webb 
Pat Roener 
Jean Tyrell 
fom Van Horn 
Judy Bel field 
Linda S^ iweitaer 
Anita Rutkowaki 
Clarence Eeid' 
Sandra fieardon 
Charlotte Pennington 
Jennifer Jones 
Dave O'Brien 
Lynette Fields 
Eileen Darin 
Jeane-ite L. .Grub®** 
Debbie Morris 
"'/ickie Canaichael 
Judy Belfield 
Susan Zupancic 
Hobert "Gap" Webb 
Debbie Morris 
Tom Van Horn' 
Stacy Biedermann 

udy Belfield 
■Jean Tyrell 
C, L. Weatherford 
\nita Rutkowski 
Pat Roemer 
Clarenc® Bsid 
Paul Houser 
Sandra Heardon 
Oharlott© Pennington 
Jave O f Bri#n 
Jennifer; Jones 
ifcacy Biederaann 
Eileen Darin 

isan 2-apaacic 
Judy Balfield 
iobert "Gap" Webb 
■von Van Horn 
-nita Rutkowski 
Jharlotte Pennington 
• ^nniiar Janes 
: 'u©an -ap&ncic 
: Ileen Darin 
Judy Belfield 
•ennifer Jones 
3*ean Tyrell 
Tom Van Horn 
7udy Belfield 
Paul H©u@s*r 
'tacy Biedermann 




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%© Bus Ride- 




Susan Zupancic 

NO MICROWAVE 

I don ' 1 need no microwave 

Don f t want to fry my cat 

I don't need no microwave 

Don't think that is where it's at 

Know I s d zap my daddy's pacemaker 

Got a baby* I'd probly bake her 

I don^t wmt no microwave 

Ma's got & 

I don't need no microwave 




Judy Bel field 



******** 



TO RICHARD GERE 



Stacy Biedenaasm 



Release me 

Let me go 
I need to * 
To break. I this 
If o: 

Let ms 

I need 



I think 

you're probably 

just another flash in the pan. 

nevertheless s 
howja like 
to make some ©parks 
in my skillet? 

******** 





******** 



Stacy Biedermann 



BEING BALD MM LOVING EVERY MINUTE OP IT 



If I had one wish, it would be for 
everyone to be bald. Believe it or not, 
It would be fantastic, Sit and think 
about it for a while. Think of the good 
points , the bad points, everything. 

The one thing we'd save would be 
money. Think of all the "things" we 
use on our hair. For instance: comb, 
brush, blow dryer, curling iron, hair spray. 
Then we have shampoo, conditioner, and 
finishing rinse. Ladies get ready, no more 
bobby pins, head bands, hair nets, wigs, 
combs, barrettes, cuts, bleaches, streaks, 
and perms. Everyone would be natural 1 
Never again would people be ashamed of their 
loss of hair. The oupeee, transplants, 
and wigs will be in the past. Skin would be 
in I 



Besides saving. money, we would al 
save time. Nor more washing and drying 
just stick the pie head under the show* 
towel dry s and go. Another thing we 
could all do would be sleep later ( Gre. 
Oh, how I'd love it. Everyone won' 
be cleaner. The dandruff would disappe 
The lice would die. No more greasies 
zitz on our foreheads. 

People will look more at our pere 
ality, rather than the fact that we ar 
a redhead, yellowhead, brownhead, bla< 
head, or grayhead. The probl&as of 
being hated because of your greasy tb 
hair will no longer be around. Every 
would be beautifully bald. 

Think of the working world*, Hair 
has a lot to do with it. If everyone 

(continued) 



-1- 



Being Bald, continued 

was bald we would never find another hair 
in our soup. (well?) Waitresses would not 
have to wear hairnets, and professional wo- 
men will not have to tie back their hair. 

Think about the people who are already 
bald. Yul Brynner seems to be doing pretty 
well; so does Telly Savalas. What people 
don't realize is that they are not natural- 
ly bald, they love being bald. They love 



it just as I would only if my wish came 
true. 

If you wake up one morning and 
look out your window and see a bunch of 
reflecting heads, you know my wish cam". 
true. Way don't you help me with my 
wish and start the fad ... get the 
shaver and shave away. Skin is in! 
3e beautifully bald! 



Tf**3Wf*** 



Robert "Gar>" Webb 



WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH I-SE7 



Len Over cash 

THE .CHANGED MH 

He went under again, shut off from 
the sun and sky and cool air. He felt 
himself weakening. With his feet, he 
searched frantically for -the ledge he knew 
must be beneath him, but wasn't. Without 
it to push against, he couldn't get back 
to the surface. He sank deeper into the 
watery darkness, slowly dissolving and be- 
coming a part of the murky water of the 
stone quarry. 

Roger Harmon always woke , sweating 
and feeling panic, at that exact moment in 
tke nightmare. Ho never reach ed the flat 
limestone shore as he managed to do when it 
really happened. For come reason, the 
ledge wasn't there in the nightmare and 
he kept going down. Tw pifcy years ago, if 
he hadn't been so exhausted, he could have 
walked to chore. The water wac only four- 
feet dQQ-p at that spot. i 

When he f inall}/ grabbed ,tho gritty 
limestone shelf and bagan pulling himself 
out of the water, he listened for Kenny. 
Expecting to see him break the surface, 
tired and angry, screaming about boing so 
stupid and almost drowning %hem both. But 
the water was calm, ..rippled only by his own 
movements and the gentle August wind 
that »lew through the old, long-abandoned,, 
limestone quarry. ■ <, 

Roger glanced at his watch. Seven 
o'clock. Still early evening. 

. "Chrdsti" he muttered, "Now I'm having 
that dream in the daytime." 

He pushed himself off the couch and 
went to the refrigerator for a »eer. The 
last can rattled around in the crisper as 
he pulled it open. Roger frowned, sudden- 
ly realizing that he'd gone through more 
than a case here at home. Plus whatever 
he drank across the street at Bill's Bar. 
If the nightmare didn't stop soon, he'd go 
broke. 

Roger pulled the tab and walked to the 
window in his third- floor studio apartment. 
He could look »ut over the sprawling? city 
in which he'd lived all his life. He 



Now, right now 

I'm sitting in this room 
Like everyone else 

even though not on the same channel 
Trying to be attentive to something 
I think lacks anything of 
interest to me. 
I'm basically here, struggling to 

survive this transition I'm present 
engaged in. 

Set backs, pent up, strung out 
laid back, know all and couldn't 
care much more to deal. 
How, I know I relate in this 

sense of doing so 
I know I can respond to 
anything common to my experiences 
still picking my mind, in a quest 
to know 
So what does all the seemly viable 
conversation and encounte rs have tc 
do with me? 
Writing_.jLs__only stating questions. 

hated it. As he hated much of his own 
life since that day twenty years ago. 
He considered himself a failure, barely 
making it through high school, flunking 
out of college, then Nam, and finally, 
his hasty and doomed marriage to Brenda. 
He was losing his two sons too. Three 
years of being with them only on week- 
ends had cut through too many of the 
bindings that once held them together. 
Roger had always kupt the hope of 
reconciliation, but last week, Brenda 
.had told him she was getting 
r.&marri^d. To a surguGn. A successful 

Deep inside Roger knew he should 
have drowned that day; not Kenny. That'' 
why the dreair. was recurring again. 

Across the street, the ne»n light 
in the wirfdow of Bill's Bar went on. 
Tomorrow was Saturday, the weekend his 
two sons spent with him. He seldom 
drank when they were here. But the boy 
weren't here tonight. He quickly fini- 
shed his beer and left. 



Bill's Bar was an easy place to 
suspend time and get quiotly drunk. N« 



-2- 



( continued) 



The Changed Man, continued 



bands had ever played here, so there were 
no loud noises. Just a large color TV 
suspended in a corner over the bar. 

Soger felt a gentle tap on his shoul- 
der and turned to see Bob Larson, flaming 
red hair stylishly combed, smiling down 
at him. 

"•rirk.ing alone? Bad sign, Rog." 

Roger shrugged as Bob slid int« the 
stool beside him. 

"One of those nights, huh?" Bob said. 

Roger had known Bob for two years. 
They had lived in the same apartment com- 
plex. Bob was divorced to*. 

"Ex-wife trouble? :r Bob inquired, or- 
dering a glass of beer. 

"Sorta," Roger said. "Not all, but 
some of it. She's getting . . . married 
again. To a surgeon with prestige and mo- 
ney." 

"One of them successful men, right?" 

"Yep. W..I1 ..." Roger paused. 
Though he didn't consider L, rson an inti- 
mate friend, he felt a need to talk. "Did 
\ou eveE wish that yo>u could go back and 
change tilings? I radius things that affected 
your whole life?" 

"Don't we all." Bob laughed. "H-li, 
if I conic change anything, I'd be richer 
than sin right now." 

"Not exactly," Re, er -..ii, chewing his 
lower lip. He didn' t ant this to sound 
as if he were certifiably crazy. "I \i .an 
a tragedy. The death of i; cloce friend. 1, 

"Sure," Bob nodded. "I lost a good 
friend in Nam. But everybody's gotta die 
sometime." 

"But what if you knew, truly knew, that 
. . . that someone died at the wrong time?" 

Bob looked directly at Roger. "Well, 
I was told that when your time •ame, you 
went. No matter what. But I gotta agree, 
sometimes £t seems wrong. Though there's 
nothing you can do about it." 

"What if you could go back into the 
past, knowing what was going to happen, 
and could do something, anything, to change 
the outcome?" Roger asked. 

"You'd ©hange the world. History 
would be changing every second." 

"Would you do it? Assuming it were 
somehow possible?" 

Roger's heavy drinking the last few 
weeks puzzled and worried Bob. Could this 
lie the reason that he wanted to change his 
past? Bob stalled by lighting a cigarette. 
"This is getting to be a pretty heavy con- 
versation, Rog." 

Roger drained his glass and motioned 
for another. "I suppose. But I can't help 
wondering." 

"What would you change?" BoTi asked. 

After a moment, Roger said, "I'd g« 
back twenty years and keep my best friend 
from drowning." 

"You saw , it happen?" 

"Yep." Roger sighed. His chest and 
throat were constricting with the memory. 
He took a long swallow of beer. "We used 
to swim, in this old stone quarry off 53» 
south of town. Hardly anybody knc?w about 



it. They ail went to Newell Pool. But 
me 'n Kenny loved the place. Anyway . . 
•ne afternoon we got up on one of the 
highest ledges and jumped.". , 

Bob kept silent. 

"He shouldn'ta died, though," Roger 
went on. "He had it all go in for him. 
He was best in sports. And was real 
smart too. He taught me how to swim! 
I shudda been the one who drowned I May- 
be it was because we were so poor and 
lived in a crummy trailer court I" 

"•aim down," Bob soothed. "Look, 
I don't wanna sound like . . . hell, I 
don't care what I sound like. You need 
help. I know this great doctor ..." 

"A shrinkl No thanks." 

"Why not? If you need help, get 
help. Drinking yourself into a stupor 
every night won't do it," Bob said. 
"He helped me to accept my divorce. And 
to deal with my feelings. He can help 
you deal with this." He leaned closer. 
"You can't change the past, Rog, but 
you can get help in understanding and 
dealing with it. That's the key." 

Roger rested on his e]bows, drinking 

"Believe it or not, Rog, but a lot- 
ta people think the same way you do. 
About changing the past, I m^an. One 
guy in my group, his father died of a 
heart attack in the garage. Right after 
they'd had an argument. He was only 
nineteen, and he kept blaming himself 
for •ausing the death. One of his prob- 
lems was that he couldn't go into that 
garage. Ni matter what. He simply eoulc 
not enter the place. He moved a short 
time later, but oould never get over the 
feeling of guilt. The Doo helped him 
deal with the guilt and then suggested 
he go back to his old house and go into 
that garage. Somehow, the guy pulled it 
•ff." 

"It worked, huh?" 

"Seems to," Bob said. "But the guy 
got help, Rog. He knew he couldn't do 
it alone. I'll give you the Doc's num- 
ber." 



At dawn, Roger awoke in a drenching 
sweat, clawing at the air. B? oalm his 
jangling nerves, he got himself a beer. 
He was glad that he'd remembered to get 
a six-pack before he left Bill's. Maybe 
drinking himself into a stupor every 
night wasn't the answer to his problem, 
as Bob said, but it was all ho had. 

The phone was ringing and Roger 
suddenly snapped awake. He had relaxed 
on the coach after a second beer, and had 
fallen asleep again. 

"Hello," he aaid thickly into the 
mouthpiece. 

"Roger?" Brenda asked. 

"Yeh, it's me." His tongue felt as 
though it was covered with a cottony 
mold. 

"Arc you okay?" she asked seriously. 
"Are you -drunk?" 



-3- 



( continued) 



The Changed Man, continued 



"No!" R#ger answered, clearing his 
throat. "I was sleeping." 

"You sound drunk," she told • him. 

Roger bit back the anger rising with- 
in him. He didn't answer but let the si- 
lence continue. Let her break it, he 
thought • 

"I called about the beys," she said 
after a few more seconds. 

"I'll pick them up . . ." 

"No!" she interrupted. "We're going 
with Adam + o Wisconsin. His parents in- 
vited us an up for the weekend." 

"But . . . this is mv_ weekend to 
keep them'.'" 

"Sorry. Adam's •ut Side waiting in 
the car," Brenda said. "I tried to call you 
last night. 



Roger anywhere, not fishing, or swimming, 
or to a basketball game. He just sat in 
that crusty, sagging armchair and gave his 
only child verbal lessons on honesty • 
and hard work. Like or. "Father Knows Best" 
or "Ozzie and Harriet." ]5ven their 
deaths didn't affect him 'as much as Ken- 
ny's. Kenny Davis had been everything 
to himj best friend, confidante, and 
teacher. Almost a brother. They were 
so alike in appearance that people often 
'^ot them mixed up. They were like twins 
somehow, having different parents, and 
lived in trailers parked side by side. 

■ Roger glanced across Apple Hill Road 
at his battered blue Civic parked under 



n elm in the lot of 'Newel Park. It 
I stopped calling at midnight. "seemed safe to leave there for a while, so 

he tried to appear casual as he walked 
toward the small grove of aok trees. He 
would follow the path along the stsap 
limestone banks of Newel Creek to the 



"I don't hang around waiting for you 
to call, Breada," Roger said sarcastically 



"Look, I want the boys this weekend, 
without them. " 



Go 



"Nope. Everything's packed and they'requarry. Though this route was the long- 



in the car already. Frankly, Roger, the 
boys told me that they get bored to death 
in that tiny apartment. They like to ride 

their bikes and be with kids their own 
age. You know how it is;" 

"I can't say that I do, Brenda. T 
really can't." 

"Well, maybe next weekend." 

"I'm working the next three Saturdays, 
You know that. My rights are -being violat- 
ed.- I have custody on weekends, remember!' 
"SO, sue me." 

"Thanks for nothing." •' 

"I tried t« call," she said. "Tell 
you what. You give me the number of that 
bar where you spend so much time, and I'll 
call there first. Okay?" 

"You're turning them against me. I 
know it." 

"You are drunk, aren't you? Maybe " 
it's better that you're not getting them 
this weekend if you're gonna start that 
again. I don't want to "worry about your 
drinking any more." 



est way, he and Kennjr took it most often 
kecause of its illusion of wildness. It 
was still that way, except for the shing- 
led roofs of a few new housss barely 
visible through the foliage. A distinct 
smell floated in the afternoon air around 
him. The odor of wildf lowers, tall, 
fibrous weeds, and untouched soil. He re- 
r<jmbered overturning rocks in the creek 
and watching the crayfish scoot away, 
stirring up the sediment along the bottom, 
and suddenly felt a little better, less 
gloomy. 

Maybe he got lucky, for once 5 meeting 
Bob Larson last night and hearing about 
the man who had returned to that garage. 
Maybe it was what he needed to do too. 

Roger thought, if I go into the stone 
quarry and face the past, —ybe I'll come 
out a changed man. Maybe. 

Suddenly it was there. At his right. 
A couple of acres that looked like a huge 
bite from the earth. The layers of lime- 
stone representing eons of tine stripeSL 



"I'm not drunk! And I don't drink whenthe sides unevealy, large areas had been 



the 



boys are with me!" 
45* "Because you know what will happen if 
you do! Goodbye." 

The line went dead. 



Dever's Trailer Park, where Roger had 
lived for so many years, had been bull- 
dozed away and a growth of short trees and 
weeds covered most of the two acres, but 
an equally lew-classed used car lot claimed then swan here, they almost never had to 
the corner nearest the highway. The gravel share it with anyone else- That was the 



blasted, creating ledges like steps a- 
round the sides of the box-like quarry. 
Sometime during its brief existence, 
water began filling it and the workers 
left, crossing the highway to start again. 
What they left behind, surrounded by 
gnarled trees and low, tenacious bushes, 
was an isolated paradise. 

During the summers that the two of 



trucks still labored heavily in and out of 
the enormously deep stone quarry across 
111. 53. 

Despite his resistance, the feelings 
were released. The past was still vivid. 
Imag-s danced and ran together as the mem- 
ories flooded his mind. The dilapidated, 



best thing about this place. But the iso- 
lation was also its biggest disadvantage 
because help had been so far away. 

After clinbing down the steep, rocky 
path, Roger stopped at the edge of the 
water and lit a cigarette. The surface 
was calm, rippled only by the gentle August 



dull, silver trailer that was his home, his wind, reflecting the clear, cloudless 
mother, who he truly loved, but her whining sky overhead. It looked inviting and 
tone dro v e him crazy, his father with com- he squatted and put his hand in. It was 
plaints of arthritis and ulcers, or what- cool, as he remembered, almost too cool 
ever illness was going around that kept him for swimming, tut that too, had been part 
unemployed and permanently in fr#nt of the of the magic of this place — swimming until 
small black-and-white TV. He never took your teeth chattered, then sunning on one 



-U_ 



(continued) 



The Changed Man, continued 



of the ledges to get warm again. 

God, he thought, how we loved to cone 
here . 

Roger wished that he'd brought beer 
with hiu. After Brenda had called, he 
drank several more and fell asleep on the 
couch again. Now it was mid-afternoon, hot 
and humid even with the breeze, and time 
for another cold one to quench his thirst 
and growing need. 

The water was tempting. Not having 
a swimsuit had never botherei him; he swam 
in his jockey shorts as a kid and would do 
it still. He stripped quickly and plunged 
in. The change was shocking. Roger came 
directly to the surface, his breath nearly 
chilled away, but he didn't go back to 
shore. This was just as he remembered. 

A few minutes of awkward stroking 
quickly tired him and he let his feet sink 
and stood on the bottom. Something in 
Roger's memory clicked. This was the spot 
where he knew he would make it to shore — 
the spot in the dream. Except the dream 
had him out beyond the drop-off, not on 
the underwater shelf he was standing on. 
Looking up and slightly to his right, he 
could see the ledge that they had jumped 
from. He saw now why it had happened-, 
the ledge was too much into the shallow 
portion and they couldn't possibly leap 
into the drop-off. Not together. Not 
with Kenny grabbing his arm and just jump- 
ing. 

Roger walked to shore and pulled him- 
self out of the water. Laying on the hard, 
uneven limestone, the sun warming and dry- 
ing, he was overcome with sorrow. He felt 
sorry for himself and what he'd become, 
and sorry for Kenny Davis, but even worse, 
th^t he would be exactly the same person 
when he left here. Nothing could 
change the past; one of them had to drown 
that day and the other had to live with 
the guilt the rest of his life. 

Warmed i>y the sun , he grew drowsy 
and closed his eyes. Suddenly he was on 



that ledge again with Kenny Davis stand- 
ing beside him. 

"C'mon, Rog, jump!" Kenny yelled in 
his ear. 

"Listen, Kenny, we can't! Please 
listen!" Roger begged. 

"Chicken!! Roger's a chicken! Ken- 
ny screamed out over the empty quarry. 

Roger clung desperately to the face 
of the cliff, his fingers digging in 
between layers of rock. "You don't 
understand, Kenny! If we jump ... if 
we jump, one of us will get killed. I 
know it!! God, Kennv, you got to listen 
to me ! ! " 

"We can make it!" Kenny grinned, 
grabbing Roger's wrist. "Heck, I done 
it lotsa times." 

"Not this time," Roger pleaded. 
"Not this time. Let's climb down!?" 

Kenny said, "I taught ya how to 
play ball, how to ride a bike, and how to 
swim. Now I'm gonna show you how to 
high dive!" 

Still holding Roger's arm, Kenny 
flung himself from the narrow ledge to- 
ward the shallow water below. Roger tight 
ened his grip with the other hand, but 
it was easily torn away. Over the edge 
he went too. 

He awoke sweating from the heat of 
the glaring sun, but not with the feel- 
ing of panic. This time the dream ended 
with him crawling out of the water. 

He went to his clothes and got dress- 
ed. A change seemed to have come over 
him while he slept. Maybe coming here 
had done some good. Maybe, with the 
change in the ending of the dream, he 
could accept what had happened. 

Glancing around the quarry for 
truly the last time, Kenny Davis said 
aloud, "I should have listened to you, Ro- 
ger* You said one of us would get kill- 
ed if we jumped. Somehow you knew. And 
I didn't listen. I shouldn't have held 
on to your wrist when I jumped. I 
shouldn't even have talked you into climb- 
ing up there with me." 



#***K-*** 



Jean Tyrell 



JACK COLEMAN 

If there's anything about Jack Cole- 
nan that's catchy, it's his enthusiasm. 
He's pedaled to work most days since 1976. 
When a broken leg forced him off his bike 
3 years ago, as soon as he was able, he 
was back on the bike, c rutches strapped to 
the rear carr 1 2r. This is how co-workers 
at Joliet's Caterpillar Tractor Company 
probably know Jack best. Along with th:- 
stream of cars coming to and leaving the 
Joliet plant, everyday, there's a lone- 
biker. It's Jack. 

To Jack, the 20 or so miles he 
averages a day on his bike are unremark- 



Clarence Reid 

LIMERICK 

There was a young girl from the city 
Who was both witty and pretty 

She had but one vice 

Liked rolling the dice 
New she is hooked, what a pity! 

able. He'll tell you that. But he'll 
also tell you he's not driven the car 
since his broken leg incident. Commuting 
on the bike is a way of thinking for this 

man. 



(continued) 



-5- 



Jack C«leman, continued 

Jack's interest in cycling developed not always have there been easy grades. 
in ab^ut 1973. A used clunker of a bike He was riding to work in early March, 
from a fellow worker started it. Then two 1980 at about 6: U5 a.m. The residu e 
of the neighbor kids got ten speeds. These on the road under a light layer of 
fancy bikes caught Jack's eye. The frost was the remainder of winter's 
wheels, literally, were put into motion. anti-skid lotion, cinders. Jack took 
An interest in promoting riding developed a right turn two blocks from his house. 
along with the miles Jack was beginning to He skidded sideways. He fell with a jar- 
accumulate on his rides. He bought a good ring thud. Although his feet never left 
bike, a lightweight, drop-handlebar model, the toe clips, his left leg was broken, 
which he still rides. and the left ankle joint had badly torn 

He chuckles when he talks about how he ligaments, 
purchased his new bike in a community ^0 Doctors at first prescribed only 
miles away. He had his wife drop him off casting, but later decided to operate 
10 miles from home. The ensuing ride on to put a pin in the ankle. 
his lightweight, sensitive machine with its For Jack, whose last seven years 
awkward rider position actually made him had revolved around his bicycling and 
que sy. He claims now it was a touch of running, the accident threw him into a 
anxiety. "I had to stop every few miles or severe depression It wr.sn't the pain, 
so, just to regain my composure. It was he'll tell you, but "being incapacitated," 
wild." and "not knowing what I will be able to 

Cycling became an avocation for Jack, to do? Will I be able to ride?" It 
It's spurred him on into a whole different wasn't long though. Jack was back. Neigh- 
sphere of personal accomplishment , of being bors would see him tackling two blocks , 
"capable of more than I have ever dreamed." hobbling along on his crutches. Two 

He helped organize a local bike club, blocks to four blocks, two months, and 
As a fledgling organization, it needed more believe it or not, Jack was on his bike 
PR work than it needed rides. "You had to again. 

sell the idea that bike riding was some- Oh, his toes were exposed in the cast, 
thing worth doing." This was right at the He had to remove the toe clips and 
start of the early 70' s bike boom. "I won- change his psdal to a flat rubber pe- 
dared what they thought when I went in to dal, but he was back riding. You can't 
the County Historical Society and said, 'I'dkeep Jack's enthusiasm down. He attributes 
like to do a ride to commemorate the Bicen- it to his "I'm going to do it or die 
tennial. '" A Bicentennial "Paul Revere" trying" attitude. It took a good year 
ride was instituted approximating the of biking to overcome the fear of right- 
distance between Lexington and Concord that hand turns, but coupled with his enthu- 
night. Surprisingly, people responded, *j-? siasm, Jack is very persistent, 
and Jack's efforts led to greater aware- Talking with eagerness about his 
ness by local communities of biking. training schedule, which has grown to in- 

The first local century ride, the "Paulclude swimming, Jack's leanness, and 
Revere" ride, a 200-miler to commemorate angularity speak of his degree of fitness 
the 200th year of our nation, all came from and health. 

Jack's newfound enthusiasm. He wasn't alone. "Your ability within yourself is 
There was a developing core of people who gradual, but the feeling of accomplish- 
were catching the same enthusiasm. Jack ment is great, ""he said as he discussed 
was out in front. his hobby. 

As he has .grown in biking experience, "Make the commitment. Give it a 

chance." 

Jack's done .just that. 



Tom Van Horn 



GIVEN NAMES 

Most often, a literary character's name implies specific meaning to a reader. 
The following is a list of names to conjure: 

Ina Crabb Phil Etto Etta Herman Blanche White Soph Few 

Al Cohalic Connie Lingulus Ernie Lots Jim Nasium Ben Gay 

Anna Notherthing Jack Koff Frank N. Earnest Dan Dee 

Ann T. Bellun Ben Dover Ed Sett era Grace S. Sweet Art Test 

Al Agorie Betty Cant Cliff Klimer Gus Undite Sol Amen 



(oontinued) 



-6- 



Given Nanes, continued 



Barnie Kull 
Jerry Mandering 
Ted E. Bare 
Ms . Eary 
Gary Indiana 
Gus Tee 
Mel Asian 
Rich Mann 
Charlotte Ruse 



Kate Onick 
Toby R. Notoobe 
Sandy Hare 
Tin Ulchuis 
George Ian 
Pan Flet 
Miss Ogany 
Vince Able 
Hugh Mane 



Joe Kester 
Bev Ridge 
Rhoda Hors 
Jack Ell 
Carnen Ative 
Kate Alist 
Miss Tress 
Triss Tess 



Ike Konaclast 
Chanda Lear 
Harold Tribune. 
Cly*3 S. Dale 
Agga Tat or 
Eva Sive 
Rose Acrushon 
Bess Murch 



Bob Down 
Faye DeWay 
Dick Face 
Pat Mee 
Sid Dur 
Alex Orr 
Assa Sin 
Len Dere 



Dave O'Brien 



******** 



Paul Houser 



DEDICATION TO K. J. JR. 

Sone can look at 'nothing' 

and find neaning ; 

I an forever looking for a 'neaning' 
but find nothing; 
So b e H 
AAnd so on. 



HOME 

Having 

One 

Means 

Everything 

•i 
******** 



Hi ho 

It's a funny world. 



Debbie Morris 



******** 



TEARS ROLLING 



Ro senary Grossi 



WHERE? 



Are you aware 
of the implications 
of putting THAT 
in THERE? 



******** 



Eileen Darin 



RAINDROPS 



Tears rolling endless 
waving goodbye forever 
the train pulls away. 



******** 



Clarence Re id 



Liner ick 

Her hair had grown down to her knees 
Of it she was p r oud as you please 

She was given a pet 

By a neighborhood vet 
And soon had a head full of fleas. 



The cool rain sparkled in the din of evening 
healing the day into night. 

The leaves bowed fron the weight of its drops, 
An end to their f reef all flight. 



******** 



Susan Zupancic 



******** 



TREES 



Pat Roener 



DUBLIN PUBLICAN 



Sing ne a song, 
01' boy. 
Sell ne a scan, 
01 ' nan . 
Set ne an offer, 
you 01' codger. 
I've 'ad a few, 
tis nothin* new, 
01' Katie 

will oblige. 



hey, they are 
beside the pool 
in the niddle of 
this large hotel 

i wonder if they're 
real, or just five- 
story high plastic 
trees 

******** 



******** 



-7- 



Judy Belfield 



A HELL OF A PIECE 



Snap! The window shade shot up and he had changed his routine. He still 
flap-flap-flapped over its roller. got up early, but put off staring at 

Ira Blun bolted into a sitting position the empty paper until afternoon. Later, 
in his single bed. The raised shade was like he put it off until evening. Then, 



a broken dan — it unleased a tidal wave of 
sunshine into the roon. Sunlight flooded 
the ivory walls, the dark blue rug, and the 
white-lacquered furniture. It splashed all 
over Ira's face, spattered his sleep- 
encrusted eyes. 

"Shit," he said, slithering slowly 
out of bed. He shuffled over to the win- 
dow and pulled the shade down. Then he 
crawled back in between the sheets and 
rolled into a fetal position. The shade 
snapped up again. 

"Shit," said Ira, pulling the blue and 
white flower-print blanket over his head. 
"Shit, shit, shit." He had planned to 
sleep in today. Now that was impossible. 
Once he had gotten out of bed, he could ne- 
ver go back to sleep. 

"Shit," he repeated under the blanket, 
his eyes wide open. He closed them gently, 
but it was useless and he knew it. He 
began to feel warm, even though the blanket 
in which he'd cocooned himself was summer- 
weight. Ira Blum never used a blanket— he 
didn't like to sweat. 

He pressed the light-button °n his di- 
gital watch— 7:30 — and groaned. The whole 
morning — he'd have to endure the whole mor- 
ning. He had wanted to sleep this morning 
away. That way, the problem of what to do 
with all his time would only plague him 
through an afternoon and the early part of 
an evening: The late part was easily dealt 
with— all he had to do was switch on the 
TV to escape the guilt he felt about wast- 
ing another day. In the afternoon, the 
programming was less diverse. His mind 
could never be captured totally by soap 
operas and game shows. Thus, it wandered, 
wandered into Guiltland, where it invited 
uncomfortable twinges and vague anxieties 
to set up camp in Ira's body. 

Now he had to deal with the morning 
too. 

Ira Blun was a writer. He had written 
two novels, both horror stories. The se- 
cond had been made into a movie. Success 
had come easy. 

But that was two years ago. Since 
then, Ira hadn't been able to write even 
one full page that satisfied him. At first, 
he had thought he was suffering from a tem- 
porary block that would soon disappear, 
and then he would be abl e to grind out 
another book with the same ease that had 
produced the first two. For weeks after 
the film had stopped showing, he had got- 
ten out of bed early, put on the coffee 
pot, and settled at his desk, only to come 
up with a succession of lackluster plots 
and a few unremarkable characters. Then, 



he stopped altogether — no use sitting 
at the desk for nothing. After several 
months, he thought, if it wasn't going 
to happen, then it just wasn't going 
to happen. He would wait for an idea 
to strike him. 

His agent called regularly. Ira 
put him off, told Manny that he was 
working on "a hell of a piece," and to 
leave him alone if he ever wanted to 
see it finished. Manny put up with it. 
After all, two best-sellers and movie 
rights had netted him a comfortable 
cut, and he was confident that Ira could 
come through again. Hadn't the critics 
said a new Stephen King had b ee n born? 

The guilt and anxiety declared 
squatters' rights in Ira's bones. 

"I'm not burned out yet," he told 
himself. Every night before he fell 
asleep, he chastised himself for not 
producing, and then promised to get 
down to business the next day — pull his 
guts out trying, if that's what it took. 

A year passed. Ira's hopes dis- 
solved — vaporized right out of his mind, 
and now hovered over the typewriter in 
his "writing room." He closed the door 
to the room; he didn't want to be re- 
minded. But he got a chill every time 
he passed it — from behind the closed 
door, Guilt reached out with icy fingers 
and thrummed an arctic melody on his 
spine. 

Money wasn't a problem—not ye^ 
anyway. He still had enough to tide 
him over for quite some time, provided 
he didn't do anything foolish, but fool- 
ishness was out of character for Ira. 
Aside from an occasional drinking binge, 
Ira rarely indulged in frivolity, and 
never when money was involved. He 
lived in a modest home in a rural area 
near Chicago. The home was furnished 
and decorated smartly but economically. 
Forth-two-year-old Ira had never been 
married, a fact which had caused his 
nother to suffer daily attacks of the 
most extreme agitation. She had died 
before Ira's second book came out, 
and the once-a-week phone calls from 
Brooklyn had ceased. He didn't have 
to listen to "Did you neet any nice 
girls this week?" any more. That should 
have been a relief, but strangely, he 
missed his mother's nagging for a long 
time. He did not, however, miss not 
having a wife. 

Into the second year of Ira's 
barrenness, Manny's calls became less 
frequent . . He liadn ' t liven up on Ira . He 

(continued) 



>•'** 



-8- 



A Hell of a Piece, continued 



just had his fingers in so many pies, that 
Ira, not being one of the -writers -who had 
furnished one of the pies for so long, fa- 
ded from his mind, for longer periods of 
tine. That suited Ira fine--it made the 
guilt a little easier to; bear. 

' But just yesterday, Manny had phoned. 

"How's tricks, Ira?". - 

"Oh-^gettin there* I think." 

"Still working on the same book?" 

"Oh, yeah. It's gonna be & hell of a 
piece when it's done. And, Manny, I got 
a few other ideas, too, that I think are 
"onn-; hitj." ; • 

"That's great, Ira. It,' s. bean — what? — 
almost two and a half years now since 
Cast A Spell . People are gonna forget you." 

"I don't know what to tell you, Manny. 
Except — it's moving." 

"Yeah, well — can't force genius, I 
guess. Ha-ha. Keep plugging and let me 
know as soon as you're close to comple- 
tion, eh?" 

"Sure, Manny. Sure." 

"You don't want to reconsider your 
decision about lettin me see some of the 
first few chapters, huh?" 

"No. I told you, that'll stop the 
flow. " 

"It'd mean seme cash, you know." 

"I don't need any. I'm fine." 

"Okay, okay. We're all stinkin rich 
and don't need to worry about money. Ha-ha. 
Well, gotta go." 

It was getting unbearably warm under 
the blanket. But the light outside it was 
still splashing around the room The fire 
or the frying pan, Ira thought. Some 
choice. 

The dampness he began to feel in the 
hair under his arms decided it — he thre™ 
the blanket back and sat up. He hated to 
sweat . 

He stretched his arms and legs, then 
got up and walked over to the window, his 
naked body framed there for anybody who 
wanted to see. Nobody did. He pulled the 
shade back down and plodded to the bathroom. 
He turned on the hot water in the shower, 
letting it run while he used the toilet. 
A minute later, icy needles struck his leg' 
as he poked it between the shower curtains. 

"Christ," he yelled, checking the 
faucets. Yes, he had turned on the one 
marked "hot," but no, there wasn't any hot 
water. He fiddled with the knobs for a- 
while, but still no hot water, He checked 
the sink. No hot water there either. He 
pulled a ratty blue bathrobe off a hook 
behind the door and put it on, tying the 
soft, fraying belt around his waist as he 
cane back into the bedroom. -; 

It was nice and gray there now. He 
thought for a minute about clinbi n ^ back 
into bed, ''acided against it, and headed 
fo*" the utility room next to the kitchen. 



Snap! The shade in the bedroom 
shot up as he passed through the door. 

The pilot light was on under the 
tank of the water heater. While he 
was crouched down to check it, it had 
ignited the burner unit, and the water 
was heating up. That was odd. There 
was no hot water, but the water heater 
was working. Maybe it had shut off some- 
how during the night and had just now - . 
started up again. He didn't know how 
that could happen, but he would check 
the water in a while, give it a little 
time, and see if everything was okay. 

He turned the Mister Coffee switch 
to "on" as he passed through the kitchen. 
He opened the front door and walked 
out to the mailbox to n;et the newspaper. 

"Damn," he mutter ei. No paiper. 
It figured. He went back into the house 
and sat at the kitchen table watching 
the coffee maker dribble its brew into 
the glass pot. He always prepared the 
coffee maker the night before so he 
wouldn't have to wait so long in the 
morning. At least, ho thought, the Mis- 
ter Coffee's working. 

From the kitchen archway, he glanced 
inattentively at the living room, sweep- 
ing the room casually fron corner to 
corner. His gaze was arrested by the 
door to the "writing room." It was 
open- — just a crack — but opsn nevertheless 
That was strange. It hadn't been opened 
in — how long was it? Maybe there was 
someone in the house. He stood up 

quietly and tiptoed across the living 
room. He tried to peek through the crack 
of the door. He reached his hand through 
it and flipped on the liHit switch. No 
no i s e s . No movement . 

. He pushed the door ooen and stepped 
inside. Nobodjr was there. Everything 
was in place, just as ha'd left it — when 
was it? He shuddered — then pulled the 
door shut securely. 

Ira settled into his favor it a chair 
in the living room with ?. cup of coffee, 
and lit a cigarette. Now what? What 
was he going to do? He scanned the cof- 
fee table in front of the sofa. It was 
littered with newspapers and na 'azines. 
Ha'd been snipping out articles the night 
before. One never knew where an idea 
might come from, or whan it would hit. 
The scissors he shad used were lying open 
next to a neat little stack of clippings. 
For a second, he thought about finishi-" 
the job. ., 

"Nah, I don't feel like it now, t! he 
grumbled . 

He kicked up the TV Gui-Ie . He 
hadn't watched morning television in 
ages — it might be a whole new adventure. 
He opened the magazine to Wednesday's 
listings. Abruptly, he looked up. 



(continued) 



-9- 



A Hell of a Piece, continued 

Something had rattled somewhere. He 
listened. The rattle started again. It 
came fron the scissors. They were vibrating 
on the coffee table. He stored, eyes wide, 
eyebrows raised. His mouth dropped. They 
were moving. The scissors were vibrating 
on the table, moving in his direction. 
They stopped. 

"Queerest damned thing," said Ira af- 
ter he'd recollected his senses. He walked 
the three steps to the coffee table and 
picked up the scissors. Nothing different 
about then. 

"Queerest damned thing," he repeated, 
looking over and under the coffee table. 
He didn't know what he was looking fori May- 
be we're having an earthquake, ha thought, 
settl ng back in his chair. But nothing 
else had moved, nothing else had rattled. 

He sat and smoked for a quarter of an 
hour, his eyes riveting to the scissors 
every few seconds. Nothing happened. Ev- 
erything was quiet. "Hmmm," he said. 
"This is weird." 

Finally, he picked up the TV Gu£ e a- 
gain, flipping back to Wednesday's listings. 

Suddenly, a fast, hissing sound split 
the silence. His head jerked up, his eyes 
fixed on the scissors. They were coming 
straight at him. He ducked, the TV Guide 
frozen in his hands. The scissors sliced 
through the magazine, backed up, sliced 
through it again. Ira gaped, his face con- 
torted, a terror creeping up his neck. 

He dropped the pieces of the TV Guide . 
The scissors fell to the floor. 

"Whatthehell is ha pp^ing^" he yelled. 
The house was silent. "What's going ° n? 
he yelled. Silence. 

He stared at the scissors lying on the 
rug. They were possessed, he thought. My 
God, the a; issors are possessed. He bent 
over to pick them up, but stopped tfhen his 
fingers were within an inch cf the handle. 
They didn't move. He moved his hand closer, 
slowly. He touched the cool metal and 
still they didn't move. He picked them up. 

"Sheriff, I have a pair of possessed 
scissors in ny house. They're trying to 
kill me." It was insane. He couldn't call 
the sheriff. Anyway, if the scissors 
really were possessed, what could a cop do? 

Still in the ratty bathrobe, he padded 
out to the back door carrying the scissors. 
He walked out to the edge of his yard, be- 
yond which was a huge, open field. The 
farmer who owned it had moved away, planning 
to divide the land into lots and sell them 
off some time in the future. 

Ira glanced at the scissors one more 
time, and then hurled them as far as he 
could into the open field. They sailed into 
the air, glittered in the sunshine, and 
fell. 

Ira waited for what seemed an age. 
They didn't come sailing back. He trudged 
into the house. 



"Who could I call?" he thought. 
I can't just sit here thinking about it. 
I've got to tell somebody. Who would 
I tell? W&? would believe it? 

"That's right, Manny— -possessed 
scissors. They tried to kill me." Man- 
ny would howl over the phone, ask Ira 
if that was part of his new book. Then 
he'd tell Ira not to waste his time. 
Speilberg had just gone the poltergeist 
route , and it would have to be one hell 
of a book if people were going to buy 
just any old "things-that-ge-bumn-in- 
the-night" story. 

No. He wouldn't tell Manny. He 
wouldn't tell anyone. What if he per- 
sisted with the story, insisted it was 
true? He'd been out Tiere al^ne for so 
long. People would think he was 
crazy . . . maybe . . . maybe, he was . 

Everything in the house belied what 
had "happened. Everything was quiet. 
He refilled his coffee cup, lit another 
cigarette. He sat in the living room 
staring and thinking. From tine to tine., 
he glanced down at the pieces of the 
TV Guide . He hadn ' t imagined it. There 
was the magazine— sliced twice. But 
then, maybe he'd done it himself . . . 
want a little mad and cut up the magazine 
himself. He thought of Norman Bates 
in "Psycho" telling Janet Leigh, "We all 
go a little mad sometimes." 

No. He wasn't crazy. Those scissors 
had flown in the air. He had seen it. 
Hadn't he? 

He'd begun to relax a little when he 
noticed it. The door of the "writing 
room" was ajar. 

"C'mon," he said. "C'mon, for 
Chrissake. What's going on?" 

As he neared the door this time, he 
was afraid — -so afraid he was trembling. 
His breathing seemed loud and erratic. 
He flipped the light switch on. Still no 
sounds . 

As he placed his hand on the door 
to push it open, something powerful, 
like a high wind in reverse, sucked him 
inside. He crashed through the doorway, 
twisting, turning, fighting the suction, 
and fell on the floor a few feet from 
the desk. The wind stopped, the door 
slammed shut. He ran to it, tried to 
pull it open, but it wouldn't budge. 
He was trapped. 

Now Ira was sure. There was a 
spirit, there was a "something," in the 
house. It wanted to kill him. He 
looked around the room, his eyes falling 
on the letter opener glistening in the 
overhead light. It lay on the desk, next 
to the blotter, next to some pens. He 
stood rigid, not daring to move . It 
would return, he was certain. Maybe it 
was still in the room watching him. 

"What have I done? Why do you want 



(continued) 



=10- 



A Hell of a Piece, continmed 



to kill ne? For God's sake, answer!" 

It did. A whoosh of a i r forced hin 
into the chair behind the desk. The letter 
opener rattled on the wooden desk-top. It 
quivered, vibrated. 

The " something" grabbed Ira's right 
arm, pulling it up oh the desk toward the 
letter opener. He screamed, fighting the 
thing that lifted his an. 

"What is it? What is it? Don't kill 
me . . . what do you want?" 

His hand inched toward the letter op- 
ener. He tried to pull it back with his 
free arm. The thing — the spirit — whatever 
it was, slammed his left arm back against 
the chair. His fingers touched the letter 
opener . 

"No :r\ . no," be ^leaded. 



The thin, moved his hand violently. 
Ira closed his eyes, opening them secondF 
later to see, not the letter opener 
gripped in his hand, but a pen. 

"Are you going to tell me? Is that 
it? You're going to write what you want* 7 
Through me? Yes, yes, do it. Tell r.e 
what you want." 

He grabbed a sheet of paper from 
the corner of the desk and held the j>en 
over it. He waited. 

"Well, c'mon. Doit. Tell me!" 

His hand began to move. The ink 
flowed onto the page into neat little 
squiggles and curlicuae. Words appeared 
one after the other. Ira read as his 
hand moved: 

"Snap! The window shade shot up 
and flap-flap-flapped Over its 
roller . . ." 



«•*#»##**•** 



Jennifer Jones 



Charlotte Pennington 



MINDSEARCH 



WHAT IS REALITY? 



yci i .(as all others } 
offerings of the best abilities 

(sweating with strong- 
willed per severance) 

how many days, weeks, of 

gentle, tentatively 
probing affection 
equal 
one EiDEie : ':• of 

shared understanding 
and 
a smile 



Sandra Reardon 



When black & white goes color ; 
When color goes 3-D 
Then every sound goes through 
Your ears and moves you 
rhythmically 

When forward won't go backwards 
And when you don't agree, 
Then liquids turn to solids 
And end up just like me. 

Where up is down 

And all around 

Is near and far surrounding, 

And bells won't ring, ths 

Real thing saeras boring 

not astounding. 



THE GOLDEN YEARS AFFAIR 



»******# 



It's early evening. On the "senile 
floor" of the Golden Years Nursing H^me, 
the supper trays have long since been sent 
to the kitchen and everyone is ready for 
bed. The opiates that will calm the fears, 
both real and imagine- 1 -, and hasten sleep 
have been crushed, mixed with applesauce 
and passed down unknowing throats. The 
more restless residents have been restrain- 
ed in the soft cotton vests that will hold 
them safely in their beds — except for Herb, 
whose family won't allow it. Every night 
the nurse prays that he won't fall; his 
son can't admit that Herb is. old, much less 
that he's senile. 

As she makes her rounds, checking 
teeth cups and bed rails, she notices the 
beauty of the sunset in sharp contrast 
to the dreariness.. of the hall where she 



stands. Somehow, knowing that that beau 
ty exists makes the bleakness of her job 
easier to bear. 

A familiar voice causes her to turn 
from the sunset in time to see Matt, 
muttering in German, shuffle slowly down 
the hall. She watches as he goes to 
Ann's room. The floor supervisor thinks 
of Matt as a dirty old man and doesn'b 
approve of this nightly ritual, but the 
nurse, herself a widow, does nothing to 
stop it. 

Matt takes Ann by the hand and gent 
ly leads hsr back to his room They neve: 
exchange words ;the entire communication 
takes place through the senses of touch 
and sight. The two of them look at 
each other and then at the bed. Slow- 
ly, Matt pulls back the sheet and pats 



(continued) 



-11- 



The Golden Years Affair, continued 



the pillow. Ann shakes her head and turns 
to leave. Ever the gentleman, Matt escorts 
Ann back to her c to room, where he again 
pulls down the sheet, all the while watch- 
ing Ann. He snoothes the clean, soft pil- 
low and sits on the edge of the bed. 

The nurse turns again to the sunset — ' 
but quickly looks back. The ritual is 
tailing on an added dimension. 



Ann is sitting on the bed beside 
2l'.att, softly whistling, as she always 
does when she's happy. Playing with 
Matt's fingers, she ternderly h^ips 
hin lift her thin cotton nightgown. 

The nurse quietly closes the door 
an-1 leaves then alone. She r et--_.rns 
once more to the window to watch the 
continuously changing fading beauty of 
the sunset. 



##*#«**# 



Judy Belfield 



C. L. Weather ford 



BEFORE I FALL ASLEEP 



FLEUR D» AMOUR 



Sometimes at night, 

I try to inagine 

death. 

I close my eyes, 

lie very still, 

blank ny nind. 

The cat leaps from the dresser 

and lands with a soft thump. 

A car's engine groans outside, 

and the heartbeat in ny ears 

begins to sound like soldiers marching. 

I always conclude 

the same old thing: 

no matter how hard I try, 

I cannot imagine 

void. 



Anita Rutkowski 



A life as I have lived it should not be 
Forever in a daydream with my 
Life unknown and though daisies in 
My garden grow. Roses could they 
B - If only life were m^gic and 
Lovers could we be. 



m^gic 



On the floor of a forest carpeted 
With the leaves of autumn, the 
Towering trees tapering to trunks 
Torn by time, I met thee for 
The first and knew there was 
Love to come. We stood near 
To a spider's silks draped 
O'er a chrysanthemum. 

To what extents I could fall 
In the depths of warm emotion, 
I had never known before, nor had 
I an, r notion of what would come 
To me and thee through our 
Heartfelt devotion. I should , 
Have been much happier had 
Time not taken thee. 



SWAMP STOMPING AND BAR ROOM BRAWLING 

I have a confession to make ... I am 
a Sw-Tip St'omper,; 

No. I an not some large, prehistoric 
monster, nor dm I an alligator-hunter. I 
am the girlfriend of a guy with a truck. 
Not just any truck. And not just any 



four-wheel drive truck 



it's a Ford, 



black with a white cab — lifters yet to 
come. 

Gary, alias Hoppy, alias Spudder, 
alias my boyfriend, belongs to a club 
called the Swamp Stompers. To get in, you. 
must have a four-wheel drive truck; to be 
an honorary member, you have to be a girl 
that has landed herself one of the most 
sought-after guys in Lemont. I have. 
Thus, I am. 

Female Swamp Stompers have several 
duties which they are required to perform; 
the main one is being with your nan at 
ev^y Swamp Stomper social gathering. Un- 
fortunately, they gather every night. Sit- 
ting in a parking lot or a dcS srted off-, 
road night after night does get to be 



But we all do change to the • 

Whins of time. Our likes do 

Change with neither reason 

Nor rhyme, and the rhythm of life 

Alters the chine, and so your 

Choice of hin or me, I can't 

Mind. 

Now, I dream of the 

Tines we had and the life that 

Could have been. I sonetines 

Forget that you have gone and 

Call I then your name. 

I can and will live without you. 

How well is yet to be seen. 

But this life I lead is still 

A merciless gane. 

monotonous, even when you enjoy the com- 
pany, but it's all worth it when you 
find out you're going to take a weekend 
road trip. Not just a Sunday aft err n 
trip ... a whole weekend with just 
you, your boyfriend, and. at least eight 

(continued) 



-12- 



Swamp Stomping, continued 



other people. 

One cold weekend last April we took 
such a trip. The Swanp Stonpers were 
going to race on Sunday afternoon at Great 
Lakes Dragway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. 
We had a pre-race party on Friday night 
at the quarries, and the Swanp Stonpers' 
president told his people that they would 
leave fron his auto body sho;^ at 7:00 a.m. 
(sharp) Sunday morning. Upon hearing the 
time, I promptly told Gary that I wouldn't 
"be going. He laughed, patted ny behind, 
and said patronizingly, "poor baby." 

I left Gary and went over to where ny 
girlfirends were standing ... I came just 
in time to hear them gossip about our local 
herpes queen; definitely not-miss gossip 
material. Just as our subject of discus- 
sion was changing, guess who called me 
over? Queen Laurie! I tried my best to 
swallow my guilt, then I went over to 
where she was standing with her boyfri-nd, 
Bob, and Gary. 

They had a plan ... I could tell by 
the innocent and cf 1 - arming look on Gary's 
face. This was the plan . . . Bob's fam- 
ily has a house in Wisconsin that's only 
a half ah hour from Union Grove, so they 
thought it would be fun if we went up 
there on Saturday and just meet everyone 
on Sunday at the drag strip. After making 
sure that there were nore than two bed- 
rooms in his house, I agreed . . . happily; 
I couldn't remember the last time I had 
been alone with Gary. 

Alas, it was too good to be true . . 
when Gary pulled into my driveway on Satur- 
day, Harm and Ron spilled out of the truck, 
greeted my mother with uncommon courtesy, 
took my bag, and crawled into the back of 
the truck. When my mother was done lec- 
turing Gary and he was back behind the wheel 
n e informed me the plans had been changed 
slightly. From my house we went to get the 
rest of the group . . . Tony, his girl- 
friend Angie, and Whiffer. Bob and Laurie 
had already left. 

So my romantic night on P%ers Lake 
turned into just another night wi th the 
guys. The good news was that they plan- 
ned on camping out in the trucks. 

We arrived at Klotz's beautiful hone, 
went to the door, and were shocked to have 
it answered by Mrs . Klots; but not half as 
shocked as she was upon seeing five guys 
and two girls . . . she was just expecting 
Gary and me, as was the equally shocked 
Bob. We quickly explained that all of us 
were going to sleep in the trucks , but 
Mrs. Klotz wouldn't tear of it. . . there 
was plenty of room. 

Bob herded us out the door, and we 
piled into our three trucks to go out to 
this "great bar" Bob goes to when he's up 
there. This "great bar" that took us 
three trucks to get to turned out to be 
two blocks away. Bob's like that some- 
times. 



The bar was nice . . . when using 
Wisdonein's standards, that is. Bob's 
brother and sister-in-law were sitting 
at the bar as we walked in. As everyone 
went to the tables, I stopped Gary midway 
and had him order us some dinner . . 
I like to keep my priorities straight. 

When Gary came over to the table, 
he had a watermelon in his hand ... 
"Well," he said, "if we can't have 
romance, we might as well drown our 
sorrows." Gary intended for me to be 
buried on just the one . . . which I 
was, but I would later dig deeper. 

So, along came the food and pit- 
chers of beer, and the opportunity to 
get to really know these people ... I 
even kind of enjoyed Laurie's company. 

After an hour or two, eveyyone 
kind of broke into two groups. Gary, 
Tony, Bob, Ron and Harm were at one ta- 
ble talking about the race. Laurie, 
Angie, Whiffer and I were at another. 

Since I don't '"'■rink beer, I had only 
had that one watermelon. I was at 
least five drinks behind the others. But 
Whiffer, that sweet darling, fat over- 
affectionate, sixteen-year-old, fixed 
that up right away. Three very strong 
watermelons later, Gary cane back to 
our table and Whiffer got up to let him 
sit next to me. Whiffer, being a smart 
guy and knowing Gary well, headed over 
to join Ron and Hamm in a game of pool. 
Gary has since informed me that the con- 
versation he tried to carry on with me 
was rather one-sided, but I did manage 
to inform him of the identity of the guy 
who got me drunk. Gary leaned me against 
the wall I *?as sitting next to and went 
over to the pool tables, so I was left 
,with Tony and Angie. 

I can remember staring at the signs 
above the bathroom doors . . . "Inboard" 
and "Outboard" they read. Finally, 
I decided I'd settle on either. I got 
up and ■ ^an-aged to walk the eight feet 
to the bathroom in around five minutes. 
Some guy in a group of guys (to be re- 
ferred to as "tile others" later on) 
standing arjund the bathrooms was kind 
enough bo open the correct door for me. 
(inboard) When I came back out, the 
same guy patted my behind and asked if I 
would like a drink. The next thing 
I knew, Tony was at my' side and the guy 
was apologizing to us. Tony led me 
back to the table which was holding 
Angie and Laurie up; then he joined 
the guys at the pool table. 

The next thing I remember was think- 
ing that there might be a fight going 
on. Five minutes later (or what seemed 
like) I heard the glass breaking. Then 
I was pretty sure that it was a fi^ht. . 
I asked Angie what she thought, and 
just then a coat roack crashed bntc our 
table. Definitely a fight. 



(continued) 



-13- 



Swamp Stomping, continued 



I stood up to look for Gary, "but I 
couldn't .find him anwwhere. All of a 
sudden, Angie shot out of the booth cry- 
ing and screaming and jumped onto some 
guys back and started kicking and pinch- 
ing. She was good. I was still looking 
for Gary when Harm literally picked me up 
and threw me out the side door. I heard 
more glass break, and then Angie came 
stumbling out the door. She was crying 
uncontrollabley, so I took her to Tony's 
truck where she cried herself to sleep. 

The col 4 air was sobering me up quick- 
ly as I went back to stand on the bar's 
patio. Next, out came Whiffer, crying 
harder than Angie. "I didn't mean to hit 
him! I didn't! I couldn't help it! He 
was punching my friend Bob ... I had to 
stop him!" Then the 200+ pound Whiff fell 
on top of me. As I way lying there, strug- 
gling to get Baby Huey off of me, the 
fight flew out the door and surrounded me. 
I left Whiffer on top of me for protection. 
By the shoes I knew it was Kamm and Tony. 
Then, they moved it back in as quickly as 
they had moved it out. 

Whiffer got up and we took each other 
over to the trucks- It was then that my 
parents acquired a son . . . Whiffer 
decided that he loved me and he wanted to 
be my brother and my protector. Then he 
started crying again because he was fat 
and he didn't think he could get any 
pretty girls to go out with him. Then he 
fell again, half on the road, half under 
Tony's truck. I moved his legs so they 
were out of danger, then went back to the 
bar to see if it was over yet. 

Here's something I've learned through 
being present at three of their major 



fights 



these guys won't quit, es- 



pecially Bob. His neck actually swells 
up, and he just goes wild . . . Normally 
he's very quiet and shy. Another thing 
I've learned is that they're pretty good 
in a fight. 

Well, things were winding down in 
there . . . the bartender, who likes Bob, 
ras throwing "the other guys" out the 
ioor, and Bob's brother had Bob pinned to 
the floor to keep him fron going after 



them. I still couldn't find Gary, and 
was about to ask about him when ho walk- 
out of the "Outboard" room. He gave 
me a tired grin and hugged me with 
arms that I found out later on had 
blood flowing down them. One less 
white sweater in my wardrobe. I also 
spent the next three days picking glass 
out of those arms. 

As we sat at the bar, settling the 
till, Whiffer came and started crying 
and hugging everyone. That's when I 
saw the huge pool of blood on the floor. 
It turned out be be from Gary's nose. 
That was it . . .. he knew I'd be his 
sucker for at least thr next three weeks. 
So» that was why I couldn't find him . . 
he had been on the floor the' whole 
time I had been, looking for him. But, 
he did get some good punches in. 

Why did the fight start? Between 
me getting my behind patted and one of 
them pouring a beer over Ron's head . . 
Boys will be boys. 

Well, we finally made it back to 
Bob's house. I took ny sweater and 
washed it in cold water, but Gary want- 
ed his to have the blood left on it so 
he could show the guys at the races the 
next day. 

The next agonizing morning we ar- 
rived at Union Grove with cuts, bruises, 
hangovers and plenty of stories to 
tell. Gary's shirt was passed around, 
and I informed some sympathetic girls 
that wanted to console Gary that the 
only sympathy or consolation he needed 
was mine, thank you very much. A few 
hours later, Gary, with me riding shot- 
gun, won a third place ; trophy. What did 
I clutch in my hands? His bloody shirt, 
of course. (He still has it in there, 
the sentimental fool. ) 

As w- were on our way home, before 
I fell asleep with the hum of the wheels 
as my lullabye, all I could think of 
was how I couldn't wait to si^ a park- 
ing lot or deserted off -road, and perform 
my main duty as an honorary Swamp 
Storr^er . . . to be with my man at every 
gathering . 



********* 



Debbie Morris 



CARDS 



^he Queen of Hearts 
rent for a walk 
to see the King of Spades 

Something must be done 
ibout the fun 
the Joker had today. 

Ie stole the Six 

md scared the Nine 

mow no one wants to play 



He ripped the Sight 
and beat the Clubs 
made everyone go away. 

The King of Spades 

he sent his son 

the boy's name was Jack 

on a manhunt he would go 

and bring the Jc^er back. 

Out he rode onto the Deck 
********* 



and there he caught his 

man. 
He dragged him back into 

the mck 
so they were full .again. 



-Hi- 



Jeanette L. Gruber 



BETTER I THAN A STRANGER 



Tamny, you know the things that ran- 
kle me, which ignite ny debater flair, and 
snarl ny left cheek sneer. You say these 
things even as you care . . . Your mouth 
flies at the most sticky speck in ny 
speech, my weakest logic link. 

"That's not how it. is in. the business 
world*" and you talk of computers, my field 
not yours. You've never even untangled the 
longlegged bugs of FORTRAN, BASIC, or 
COBOL. ; What gall! I flare, but the stub- 
born coal in your mind refuses to light. 

"He's only nice tc you because he's 
your lab partner, and he needs a good 
grade." Dismiss ny carefully tended spark 
with a cool breeze and a cold brown eye 
under the guise of "Rosy lenses set you up 
for a fall. It's better that I, your car- 
ing friend, tell you than he, a stranger." 
Tanny, you say what you think when you 
think it, and pride yourself on clear per- 
ceptions. Is that why the sane "he", re- 
covering from drunken blindness, kissed 



you till you bled, and blamed you for it 
all in the morning. How is it that he 
used you, Madame Perception. Or did 
you secretly borrow my lenses to peek 
sneakily, only to stomp on them, force- 
fully certain of your original convic- 
tions. 

And yet I return to you. Giddy with 
rose-petaled tales of another day, from 
which you extract pure red blood. You 
tell me again that it's better that you 
extract it than someone else. 

But this time I've learned . . . 

I formerly took the blood sad tears 
away from our communion. Now, instead, 
I reach out for the white droplets you 
drip from the extraction, and these I 
treasure. The red is placed in absent 
hands. Your means of joy remains only 
in the dried blood brown droplets left. 
Bitterness festers. 
Thorn thoughts th r ive. 



******** 



Lynette Fields 



Paul Houser 



WATER LOVE 



THE CLIPPER SHIP 



The pulsating, gyrating, invigorating 
force of the water massaged my breasts 
and kissed my nipples. A few several 
droplets nestled in my belly button. A 
lost, mischievous trickle tickled my, 
thigh s . a bold, brazen barrage of water 
slapped my buttocks. I turned off the 
faucet and a forgotten spatter kissed my 
face. 

******** 



With her mast sail high 

The lady flyer went sailing on /; . 

The gallant ship from days gone bv-y 

The proud captain and his trusted crew 

Took her on to many distant, ports 

Like an albatross across water she flew 

Her days are gone; s he'll never more trod 

To distant places and exotic ports 

She sits now resting in the hands of God. 



Susan Fiene 



******** 



WORKING OUT 

Depressed, 

Upset, 

Lacking energy. 

Breathe in, breathe out, 

Again in, again out; 

Push up! 

Slowly and controlled; 

Repeat. 

Twisting, 

Bending, 

Stretching, 

Getting in shape. 

Energetic , 

Alive, 

Fulfilled, 

Renewed. 



Steve Far on 



A SIGHT FOR SORE MINDS 

FROM 

No's-THO 

OhW .HtriB 

Investigates 

TI . ecneirepxE 

Alls it takes iS 

?Uoy naC .od yleruS 

Dream was a dream? I 

A dnA ?detnuoc ytse-nO 

Remember the moment wheN 

,GNIEB nwod sgnirb ylecracS 

******** 



******** 



-15- 



Christie Doyle 



Judy Belfield 



MY CLOSET SHELF 

When I open my closet 

and look up toward its shelf 

I see a rainbow of colors 
old school hooks 
folders 
notebooks 

and 
a Coke bottle. 

******** 

Stacy Biedernann 



DIETER'S PLEA 

Oh lord please help me, 

I need a clue .... . ! 
How can I lose weight 

without turning BLUE? 
I've tried all the diets 

I could possibly find, 
but I always end up 

fat in the behind! 



A BOY'S BEST FRIEND 

She takes him out for breakfast 
every day before school. 
They sit in a booth — 
both on the same side 

so she can smooth his ten-year-old hair 
and coo funnies in his ear. 
They smile, 
giggle at each other 
every other minute or so. 
She pats his shoulder 
nuzzles his neck, 
straightens his collar, 
kisses his cheek- 
no end to the touching 
which seems to say, 
even though she's got a husband, 
"You're all I have in this big, bad vorld." 
Little boy believes her 
with all his heart — 
it shows in his dilated eyes, 
little fawn gazing lovingly 
at Momma 
through thick glasses. 

******** 



******** 



Eileen Darin 

PAINTED 
She screamed her last word. He sat on the bed. 



She slammed the door 
and drove away 



Vickie Carmichael 



He hung his head. 

Lit a cigarette 

and stared at the floor, 



THE DANCER 



******** 



The wrinkled hands v er e folded on 
her mountainous lap. The hands worked 
nervously at the sash around her middle. 
They were pale hands with large splotches 
of color partially hidden among the folds 
and wrinkles . A single gold band ado rned 
the third finger of the left hanl . The 
knuckles of the long fingers ware large 
and protruding. 

"I was a dancer," she said to anyone 
and no one. As she rocked back and forth 
in the chair she would hum softly some 
ancient tune as it it were a magical 
chan* with the power to restore her. A 
chant with no words, just inflections bare- 
ly discernable to the unaware. The hands 



still worked at the sash. 

"I danced for Flo Zi^g^d," again 
she spoke but no one was near to hear. 
In her mind she was again dancing the 
latest craze, creating new sensations 
with each movement. She whirled across 
the floor taking command of the stage 
as if it were her birthright. She made 
it all look so easy. She had talent, 
they all said. She'd go places, no 
chorus line for her. 

She sat stooped over. Shoulders 
slumped inward as if some weight borne 
for many years had deformed her body. 
Her spine bubbled out at the base of the 
neck where a hump formed. Her le- r s were 

(continued) 



-16- 



The Dancer, continued 



stout with distended knee caps and ankles. 
The legs, too, were pale, "but splattered 
with large discolored sections. Sone 
places red, sone brown. A large bruise 
narked her right shin. 

The rocking slowed, the novenent 
changing to side to side. Her feet, hous- 
ed in heavy black shoes began to move ever 
so slightly. The shoes were old and hard- 
ly even black in places. They were run 



places you could see though it. But her 
hands noved over it neticulously smooth- 
ing here and there. Then, as fast as it 
had cone, the change would leave and the 
rocking return. 

"I used to be a dancer," the voice 
croaked. There was -no power to the 
voice, no volune. A hoarse voice that 
"betrayed its frequent use. Hardly able 
to produce any variance in tone or in- 



over on the instep and one of the laces had flection. 



been broken and retied at the break. They 
were unconfortable shoes for unconfortable 
feet. The hands worked the sash around 
her waist. 

"I used to dance in the Follies." 
Her face was the face of all old and 
tired people. Wrinkled skin that gave 
little idea of the beauty that nay once 
have "been there. A bandaid on her creased 
forehead. The eyes had lost their color 
and now looked at the world gray and 
glazed. The lips showed signs of having 
once been full, but now receded into 
a nouth that had few teeth left. The 
cheeks hung in folds as did her chin. Her 
hair, what there was of it, was gray and 



Someone walked past and a wrinkled 
hand shot out. Pulling the am closer to 
grab it with both hands. "I used to be 
a dancer," she repeated to her captive. 
"I danced for Flo Ziegfeld," she said 
rapidly as the arm was freed fron her 
grasp. 

"I guess I'd better untie her and 
walk her down to the dining roon," the 
aide said. 

"Yeah, lunch will be ready soon. 
Just make sure you tie her in good. She 
falls down too nuch and aint supposed to 
walk by herself," her companion explained. 

"That's a hell of a way for -a dan- 
cer to end up." 
disheveled. Often one of the wrinkled hands "Dancer, shit. Once this lady 
would move to her face, tracing an invisi- showed up. Said she was Essie's cousin, 
ble line down her forehead and nose. Then, Well, I asked her about the dancing. She 



leaping quickly to her hair in sone ur- 
gent gesture, soon to return to the sash 
around her waist. 

The rocking stopped and the chant 
broke off. She would straighten her blue 
print dress. The naterial worn thin by 
frequent washings was so thread-bare in 



says Essie wasn't no dancer, just a 
housewife." 

"Well, aint that the damnedest thing. 
Guess she always wanted to be one though," 
said the aide as she slowly walked the 
arthritic old woman down the hall. 



******** 



Judy Belfield 



Susan Zupancic 



PRESENTS 

I give you 

nyself 

in this ink, 

locked in the letters. 

Discover me here. 

I inhabit the words 

like an old hermit' 

afraid of sunshine. ' 

Breathe me through your mind- 

for a moment, 

I live. 

***** 



COLORFUL CORTEX 

He's got 2nd thoughts 
bout the people around him 
Wants to go to sleep 
cause the dreams astound him 

Visual monsters awake in his brain 
Colorful dragons driving the train 
that meets him in the station 

Pushes the cartoons 
aside in his head 
Trying so hard not 
to fall out of bed 



With an increasing dread 
of the world outside 
He makes it to work 
another day 



******** 



-17- 



Robert ''Gap' 1 Webb 



Pat Roener 



PHOTOGRAPHY 



REVIVAL 



The eye we are told 

is a camera 
but the file is the heart 
not the brain 
and our hands joining ■ 
those that reach 
develop the product 

Watching the red sun bleed 

into the ocean 

one thinks of the beauty - 

that fire brings 

if the eye is a camera 

and the film is the heart 

then the photo assistant is GOD. 



Moonlight, wonderlit, spooned velvet 

night . 

Purify riy nostrils of the day's dun*".. 

Cleanse my senses with the water of still- 
ness you so graciously 
pour after every storm. 

I need but to lay in your nothingness, 

cast no reflection. 

The dark complete retreat 

Provide for the fetal functioning 

I perform so comfortably, 

In the INDIA INK arms of solidarity 

that are yours alone 
to s^end 

On my weary soul. 



*#-::••»•»#%» 



%*«»#«#-* 



Jean Tyrell 



LETTER TO THE BELL COMPANY 



Bell Company 

Manufacturers of Helmets and Bike 

Accessories 
P. 0. Box 78 
Wheeling, California 00288 



To whom it may concern: 

I am writing you regarding your cycling 
helmet for bike tourists called the Bell 
Touring Helmet. I've been the owner of 
your touring helmet for a short while— and 
want to point out the diversity of its uses. 

I know the object of the helmet—to 
protect a rider's head in case of a colli- 
sion or accident where a rider is thrown — 
but the stated purpose and the actual pur.-? 
poses do not. always meet. For example, I've 
yet tc test your helmet in a fall from my 
bike, but last Tuesday, while carrying my 
bike up 28 steps to my apartment, my head 
hit the corner of the gutterspout which 
overhauls the stairs. Under normal circum- 
stances this impact would have knocked me 
out — But NO! I was wearing my Bell helmet, 
as I was fresh from my ride. It saved me 
from the great tragedy of a gash in my fore- 
head—or the remote possibility of a fall 



down 28 steps with my bike. 

Two days later while in the act of 
greasing my bike chain , I bent over dou- 
ble to view the chain from upside down. 
Needless to say, I was quite near the 
porch bannister, closer than I thought. 
W00NK! went my head against the p r ''rch 
railing. But I was saved af?ain. My 
head was ensconced in my Bell Helmet. 

Lastly, the closet where I store 
my bike (contrary to local myths, I don't 
sleep with my bike— I put it in my 
clothes closet) has a door^y suited only 
for a person of elfin proportions. For- 
getting to duck, as I have on a number 
of times, I hit my head on the door jamb. 
Last week, same thing, BUT I still had 
on my helmet! 

The whole purpose of th s writing is 
to tell you I've given up wearing my 
helmet while bike riding, it doesn't seem 
necessary. But I wear it everywhere else. 
I get odd looks, but few bumps on the 
noggin. You ought to be promoting your 
helmet in the housewares line. 

Sincerely, 



Wanda Klutz enhiemer 



##•»%****» 



Tom Vn.n Horn 



S.P.E.R.M. 



A society f'-r the "rascrvation. 
of equal ri -hts for men 
shoul: 1 . be formed as soon 



as enough men can get away from 

their wi^es or sweethears 

for the one-evening-a-week-«meetings , 



-»****x#*-# 



-18- 



Judy Belfield 



Linda Schweitzer 



ANONYMOUS PHOTO 



FOREIGN FEELING 



A Russian woman 

in a crowd — 

caught by a canera 

she didn't see. 

In her eyes 

a soft smile, 

an unmistakable joy. 

I wonder . 

what caused those eyes 

to rhapsodize? 

In a mirror 

I have seen eyes smile 

much the sane. 



I felt a spark of happiness today. 

And as the feeling faded, 

I tried to 'figure out just where it 
had cone fron. 

It popped into 'existence so suddenly, 
just as a kernel suddenly pops 
into a puff of corn. 

When it arrived, it neither jumped 

up and down, nor screaned for atten- 
tion. 

The feeling sinply sat in ny head 
and tingled ny body with its 
unf aniliarity . 

Then, for no reason, it got up and 
walked away as quietly as a sneaker 
walking on narshnallows . 

I will just go on being until the feel- 
ing cones again. 

I suppose then I will again sit and 
wonder just where the feeling cane 
fron. 



Anita Rutkowski 



KIDS, COWS AND CATTLE 



*« •»#*>:-** 



One bains' - sunner evening, not too long 
ago, I sat at the picnic table with ny 
boyfriend, Hoppy, in his backyard. 

Oh we laughed and played, giggled and 
frolicked, as young lovers will do. Then 
Hoppy held ne in his arns . . . the arns 
that would shelter ■, protect, and comfort 
ne for the rest of our lives. Our playful- 
ness diminished as we started to discuss 
our future. 

After an hour of debating, we decided 
on having nine children ; then we went on . to 
discuss names. . . oh the hours just seen- 
ed to fly by. 

While we were discussing honeynoon 
plans, I glinpsed sonething out of the 
corner of ny eye. I turned to see what it 
was and noticed the fence that kept the 
cows herded together had broken . . . the 
cows were stampeding toward us! 

"Hoppy," I screaned, "the cows are 
stampeding toward us!" I got up and tried 
to run away, but Hoppy grabbed ny arm and 
swung me back onto the picnic table. The 
cows were still heading straight for us. 
They were almost upon us! I looked at 
Hoppy, 'frightened and confused. 

"Those," Hoppy screamed back at me, 
"are NOT cows! They are cattle!" 



Before I could correct myself, the 
cattle had arrived. They slowed their 
pace and iproceeded to surround the pic- 
nic table. One came right up to me, 
stood face to face, and seamed to eval- 
uate me. Suddenly, its teeth, covered 
with cud, grabbed ny shirt and pulled 
me down to the ground. It stood on top 
of ne, its right front hoof on my chest, 
the left one on my stomach. Its cud 
slobbered out of its mouth and dripped 
onto my face. I was repulsed, to say 
the least. 

"Hoppy," I pleaded, "this here cattle 
is crushing me! Do something, please!" 

"You bitch," Hoppy said slowly and 
quietly in utter (or should I say udder?) 
contempt. "That is not a cattle, that 
is a cow." 

This provoked me to cry out in pain 
and anguish, "Well, will you just get 
the mother off of ne!" 

Hoppy said with a sneer as he started 
to lead the cow away, "Well, at least 
you know she ' s ny nother . " 

It was then that I knew that we 
should cut down on the amount of child- 
ren we had planned on. 



#4f*#*K#* 



Clarence Reid 



SUCH IS LIFE 



Tom Madison had just cone home from 
serving in the Korean War. He had been 
overseas for a year, when it was dis- 
covered he had a heart condition, after 



-19- 



a routine examination. It was good to 
be home with family and friends. Home 
cooking never tasted so good. As he 

(continued) 



Such Is Life, continued 



enjoyed the conforts of home, he thou'-ht 
about the amy buddies that -were left 
behind. Thinking to himself, "It's tine 
to put array life behind me. I nust get 
on with ray life." 

As the days passed, his thoughts 
turned to the opposite sex. Dressed in a 
new outfit, Ton decided to visit a sin- 
gles bar. There were many pretty, unes- 
corted girls to choose fron, but one in 
particular caught Ton's eye. She was an 
attractive, tall, slender girl. Her na-e 
was Mary. 

Mary had a nice sense of hunor and 
she was also an excellent dancer. Ton 
loved to dance. "Mary and I have a lot in 
commotf," thought Ton. "We should ?et 
along quite nicely together." And get 
along they did ! ! ! 

At first they dated each other casual- 
ly. As tine went on, the dates became 
nore frequent. Soon Ton asked Mary to go 
steady. Ton found hinself ailing in love 
with Mary. The next thing he knew, the 
two of then were at the jewelers, picking 
out wedding ri^igs. 

Mary had not told Ton everything 
about her past. Now was the tine for Ton 
to learn that she had been married and was 
now divorced. A son was born and was li- 
ving with her parents* Her ex-husband 
had been committed to an insane asylum. 
It seems Mary's forner husband had a prob- 
lem, with alcohol. Everytine Jin got 
drunk, Mary received a beating. The sit- 
uation went fron bad to worse. Finally, 
Jin's parents and Mary sought legal and 
medical assistance. A determination was 
made that Jin was raidically unfit to live 
in society as a nornal person. The courts 
ordered bin incarcerated to a nental insti- 
tution for rehabilitation. Shortly there- 
after, Mars'" was granted a divorce and cus- 
tody of the son, Andy. 

Tom was not disturbed when learning 
about Mary's past. However, Mrs. Madison 
was very upset when told the story. Tom's 
mother was against the narriage. She 
could forsee troutlo ahead for the young 
couple. "Mon, once you get to know Mary, 
your views will change. I may be the 
first one in the family to marry a divorc- 
ed person, but that does not mean our mar- 
riage will not work," reasoned Ton. 

The Christmas holiday season was 
approaching. Mrs. Madison invited Mary to 
share Christmas dinner with the family. 
Mary accepted the invitation graciously, 
thinking to herself, "I wonder if I will 
nake a favorable impression on the Madison 
family," 

Christmas Day .arrived Ton went to 
Mary's apartment to pick her up. The door 
opened, and there to his surprise stood 
a little four-year-old boy. His eyes 
glisten- - and he had a big Smile on his 
face. He was dressed in °* three-piece 
suit, white shirt with French cuffs, cuff 
links, and a red bow tie. Ton looked 



down and said, "Hi, little nan." Andy 
somewhat annoyed, looked ux> at Ton, 
confident in his manner and replied, 
"I'n not a little nan. I'n Andy." 
Ton and Mary shared a good laugh with 
each other. Then the three of then 
journeyed back to Ton's hone for dinner 
with the Madison Family. 

The dinner was sumptuous, complete 
with turkey and all of the trimmings. 
Dessert and coffee followed. The en- 
tire Madison family was impressed with 
Mary and her son, Andy. Ton was pleas- 
ed that things had gone so well. Mary 
and Andy also liked Ton's family. 

No wedding date had been set. Being 
a romantic, Mary wanted a June wed- 
ding. Ton had been thinking about a 
Fall wedding. A compromise was made': 
the w-dding would be July 15th. 

Wedding plans for Ton and Mary were 
proceeding nicely. They would be mar- 
ried in Mary's church. Ton would wear 
a navy tuxedo and Mary would wear a 
light blue, street-length, silk dress. 
Andy would be the ring -bearer, and Ton's 
niece would be the flower girl. Tom's 
brother, Len was chosen as best man. 
Mary had no sisters , so she chose her 
best girlfriend, Michelle, to be her 
matron of honor. All details were com- 
pleted, and the happy young couple im- 
patiently waited for their wedding day 
to arrive. 

Meantime, back at the Madison house- 
hold, Mr. Madison was getting ready to 
go on a weekend fishing trip with his 
son, Len. The fishing gear had been 
ass2mbled. Mrs. Madison had paeked 
his suitcase very carefully, making sure 
he had v:am clothing for tli- chilly 
nights and early mornings. Mr. Madison 
remembered a few chores that needed 
attention. He was on his way to the base- 
ment, when suddenly Mrs. Madison heard 
her husband call for help. She rr.n to 
him and there, sitting on the basement 
steps, was her semi-conscious husband, 
A quick call to the fire department 
brought the ambulance in record time- 
At the hospital, the Madison family 
learned their loved one had suffered 
a stroke. The prognosis was not -^ood. 
"He may not live through the night," 
uttered their family Doctor, Dr. Ves- 
sel*. The Madison family took turns at 
the bedside of Mr. Madison. Six hours 
later, Mr. Madison passed on to the 
other side. 

We must observe a proper mourning 
period," Tom said to Mary. "Our mar- 
riage will have to be postponed." 

"I understand," replied Mary. 

Mary thought that three months would 
be an appropriate waiting period, 
Visions of an October wedding danced in 
her head. "Tom is going to have a 
Fall wedding after all," she mused. 

Months passed without a definite 



(continued' 



-20- 



Such Is Lifa, continued 



welding date being set. Ton was reluctant 
to talk about it and this puzzled Mary. 
Eve&tually, she mistered up the courage 
to ask Ton. "Why? My nother is alone. 
She still grieves for ny father. I can't 
leave her now. She needs ne," answered 
Ton. .Mary knew if she objected, it 
would appear she was not sympathetic to 
Mrs. Madison's situation. "Okay, we will 
put our weeding plans on the back burner 
for awhile," said Mary. 

Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned 
into months. Thanksgiving and Christnas 
cane and went. Valentine's Day massed. 
Still, Ton made no nention of another 
wedding date. Mary was beginning to won- 
der to herself if there would be a welding. 

Mother's Day was approaching. "I 
think it would be nice to take Mom out for 
dinner on Mothers Day. What do you think, 
Mary," asked Ton. Mary joyfully agreed. 
"Splendid- I think that is a good idea." 



The second Sunday in May was to be 
nore eventful than Ton and Mary had ima- 
gined. Mrs. Madison surprised then as 
the dinner was ending. "When are you 
two young people going to set a new 
wedding date?" Ton smiled at Mary sayin; 
"How does July 15th sound, Babe? fv 
After all, that was their original late 
exactly one year ago. Mary was so 
stunned, words failed her. She could 
only smile back at Tom and nod her head 
in the affirmative. 

Again wedding plans were set in no- 
tion. The date was changed to July 
l6th, which was on a Saturday. It was 
decided all cf the details \rculd be the 
same as originally planned. 

Happily, Ton and Mary were married at 
last. Their wedding day is now a beau- 
tiful nenory. When July l'rth rolls 
around, Ton and Mars'" will celebrate 
their 28th wedding anniversary. 

Ah, such is life!!! 



******** 



Sandra Reardon 



Charlotte Pennington 



THE LITERARY SNOB 



ROSE PLIE 



She knows the right authors and titles. 
And quotes the latest best sellers and 
classics. And folks, she can tell you 
the plots of the plays on Broadway, 
— who won the statues and who stayed away. 

It's Rose' with the roa a t beef; sauterne 

the trout, 
But, it's beer with the bratwurst, and you'll 

never find out that she reads the 

Enquirer and yellow sheet news. 
She knows titles and authors. 
She reads the reviews. 



Like a skipping stone 
that skins and sprays, 
she gently cabrioles, jetes, 
then softly landing, •pirouettes 
f ron pastel-temr>ered pink palettes , 
to Degas' nonochrone ballet- 
wine arabesque and rose plie*. 

******** 



Dave O'Brien 



******** 



RITUAL 



Jennifer Jones 



IF YOU WERE DEAD 

If I cane hone and you were dead, 
how sad! 
But . . . 

The merry-go-round would slow its dizzy 

pace, 
Gone, tonorrow's expectant hope-dread, 
Helpless goodbyes resolved, 
Unfulfilled need answered, 
All doubts and holy horrors put aside 
Straining desire quieted, 
Cut loose the gossaner, binding threads, 
Tine unshared once nore ny own, 
Stress relieved; (once grieve) set free, 
No failure to behold, 

. . .Yes: 
I would be sad, 
But nore at peace, 
If you were dead. 



Pacing the roons 

I skulk into the bathroon 

Peer into the nirror-— a rhyne 

I sneer — at a reflection 

Whose? 

Mine. Mine? 

Hands flat on countertop 

I lean closer, 

Nose to nose; eyes to eyes 

I stare unblinking 

Mesnerized, enchanted, perplexed 

Eyes show no knowledge — instinct 

Bestial — like the wolf 

Eyes of Satan? Of a god? 

Eyes surely once possessed by a child — 

still. 
Visions withdraw and I snile 
Humorous? Possibly perversely 
I ponder, grasping 
For what? 

Nothing, and an satisfied. 
Fornless, fleeting gestures to a stranger. 
Slapping footfalls on tireless flcr ~s — 
I have /rone 
Pacini the roons. 



******** 



-21- 



******** 



Lynette Fields 



MR. DONUT 

As I walked "by the window, he whis^- 
pered ny name. "Cone inside/' he beckoned. 
I pressed ny ncse up against the glass and 
peered inside. Then, I saw hin lying on 
a piece of delicate white china. He winked 
his one eye at ne and the jelly, ooooooh, 
the delicious, delectable, delightful, 
rlancing jelly oozed out and scribbled ny 
nans on the beautiful saucer. 

I rushed inside. "I want one just 



like hin," and I pointed to the window 
display. 

Outside, I qui^kl?/ opened the bar - . 
I picked hin up and just as the ey% was 
about to wink, I held hin th ny nouth, 
and the jelly, ooooooh, the delicious, 
delectable, delightful, dancing jelly 
oozed into ny nouth and tap-danced 
on ny palate. I bit into hin and 
his passionate m^ans tinkled ny tongue. 



Eileen Darin 



Jeanette L. Gruber 



THE FAMILY GATHERING 



CALLUSES 



The usual crowd 

sat around the table 

telling white lies 

whenever able. 

The faked laughter 

while being fed 

but if looks could kill 

they'd all be dead. 

Such lucrative jobs 

s uch wonderful lives 

really a cluster 

of frauds in disguise. 

Debbie Morris 

TWO HAIKU 

Hurrican of snow 

Whitening the world's cover 

Howling in the night 

Solitary one 

hundreds of people around 

yet standing alone 



Twenty-one thousand nurders in r.nly 

fifteen spears 

have assaulted your eyes and ears. 
They grow tougher, thicker . . . 

a ripped-out eyeball, blood curdling 

on ths street /ratine, 

the piercing look well-suited to the 

gnarly knife handled in 

assassination. 
I cringe, shiver, retch, no calluses to 

shield ne. 
You watch, blind to Irana horror, 

calluses to feeling in place. 

"Pain! Don't you see it! Can't you 
feel it!" 
The screen has inundated j^ou with its 

stabbin^ reality. 

The calluses are in place. "Pain!" 

is nere drana. 
"Will your callused senses believe you 

next tine , 
when it's ny brother who lays at the 

grate?" 

Turn the ^ther way and pass. 
Calluses cure caring. 



Vickie Carnichael 



HANSON'S HAT 



Large. It was large and roony. Large, 
to fit Hanson's head. It was nade of 
beaver fur, f;lt-like, only nore durable. 
The stetson style had been nodified, per- 
sonalized. It wasn't just a hat anymore, 
it was his hat. The two ridges on top had 
been flattened out so the indentation be- 
tween then was less pronounced. Encircling 
the hat was a wide band, beaded with tur- 
quoise and mother-of-pearl in an Indian 
design. It was said, in shispers, that 
the band was an old Indian nedicine band, 
and there was power in it . . . rrreat 



power. Fitted into the right side of 
the hat, nestled in the band, were 
three small feathers. An eagle, a crow, 
and a vulture. They said he had 
caught then, t) lucked a single feather 
and released each. But then they said 
a lot of things a^cut Hanson. 

The hat lay on the bed. Lifeless 
yet' alive sonehow. Sonet hing that was 
such a vital part of such a nan almost 
seened to take on that nan's person'-.. 
It becane an extension of hin. The 
life of the nan gave life to the object. 



-22- 



( continued) 



Hanson's Hat, continued 



He would not be the same nan without it, 
and without it he saened inconplete. The 
hat radiated the strength and self-assur- 
ance that was indicative of its owner. 
Full of living, "both good and "bad. R=ady 
to meet all challenges and face all quests. 
The hat now stood empty, without purpose. 

How is it sone have such power and 
others seen so powerless? Is it by ac- 
cident? Does it happen by some divine 
notion? Do the gods touch one and shun 
others? Such people . . . such power . . 
Hanson. Was it a blessing or a curse? 
Was it by choice or preordination? Did 
Hanson choose his life, or was his path 
already narked for bin? One could not say 
for sura. Yet, knowing Hanson, one 
knew . . . 

The brin of the hat turned down front 
and back. The front pulled low, so that 
even when it was cocked back on the head, 
it still covered the eyes. There was a 
distance created. Shading. Shadows. 
Unapproachable. Maybe that added to the 
mystique. Chosen or not, the effect was 
still the sane — nystery. 

Was he aware? Sure he nust be. Peo- 
ple felt things, even Hanson. Assuredly 
he nust know. How could he not know? 
They knew. They all knew. He was differ- 
ent. As if he'd cone from another tine. 
A sorcerer. A powerful, willful wizard. 
Tempter and tenpting. There was the real 
danger. Certainly he knew, yet he chose 
to change nothing, to nodify nothing, to 
be what he was. Without question . . . 
true to his nature. Fulfilling his des- 
tiny. 

They talked about hin, huddled to- 
gether closely, as if needing protection, 
even now. Yes, they talked about hin. He 
had been the center of their world 
since he'd arrived. Where had he cone 
fron? No one knew and none dared to ask. 
They were afraid. Paralyzed. Innobile. 
Until one day sonehow the winds of fate 
had changed. Seeing their chancje . , . 
they took action. Seizing the nonent they 
thought would never cone. Knowing that 
one nistake would bring destruction on 
all. Yat they acted. Were they right? 
Did Hanson represent the evil they felt 
so strongly? Or was it only their own 
reflections of returning off this nan? 
Hard. Strong. Unyielding. Was it pos- 
sible to see into this man, or was the 
image only an echo reversing the signals 
as sent? 

Hanson's hat sat there on the bed 
waiting, as they also waited. Not know- 
ing. Fearing. Unable to change the 
course to which they were now unalterably 
committed. Was fear of the unknown great- 
er than the clear and present danger that 
gripped then now? No, the act, the fear 
would go on in the ordered steps inscrib- 
ed by the gods. There was no turning 



back now. 

They gathered, watching, waiting, 
barely breathing. Others near . . . 
not alone. There was strength in num- 
bers. Each ready to do their part. 
Each knowing they could change the out- 
cone. They had the power bestowed 
upon then. For the first tine, theirs 
was the potency, the will. Or was it? 
What was power if not used? What 
became of it? Did it stay nearby, or 
was it gone? Could it be summoned to 
do the bidding? Would one of then use 
it, or would the fear that gnawed at 
their bellies and slit^red v* their 
spines, would that fear rule. Demand. 
Elate. Triumph. 

Each was called and in turn did 
as the one before him. Some thought 
they would feel lighter, relieved of 
their granite burden, but there was no 
relief. 0nlv a shifting of the op- 
pressive weight from their hands to 
their hearts. Stone. Cold. Gruesome. 
Some tried to sumnon up thsir inner 
voice. That feeling they were sure 
would come. The conviction that they 
were acting out of righteousness, not 
fear. But after their part in the ex- 
ploit was done, there was no virtuous 
elation, just shame and nockery. Still 
none -ared to act, to change the design. 

Each waited, not knowing whether 
the others before hin had done the5r 
deed or passed without releasingtheir 
encumbrance. Even afterward, no one 
knew whether the devastation would be 
complete or fall sh^rt . Would the sen- 
tence be carried out? 

Here was the last, the last per- 
son. Had it been decided? Would it. 
be changed? Moving slowly toward his 
fate, he lowered his hand into the 
bucket and withdrew it. Taking steps 
backward, trying to blend into the crowd 
he watched. They watched. Soon they 
would know. The bucket was freed and 
for a second all breathing stopped. 
All novement ceased . . . purgatory. 
Then it moved, slowly. It dipped down 
on its journey to infinity. The d e - 
cision was made. Irrevocably. It was 
done . 

Hanson was ^one, destroyed. Inside 
behind the bar s , on the bed, Hanson's 
hat sat waiting, as if in anticipation 
of that which would be no more. They 
feared it as they had feared Hanson. 
So there it lay until he was plotted 
in the' earth. They were safe now. He 
was gone. 

They burned it. Three days later 
they burned Hanson's bat. 



-23- 



Judy Belfield 



Susan Zupancic 



ALWAYS AMONG US 

Schizophrenic boy, 
in a state institution 
for sixteen years, 
cones hone on Fridays, 
stays til Sunday night. 
Sandy-haired hoy says, 
"Mocma left long ago — - 

went to Las Vegas, 

or sonplace." 
He sniles, enpty-eyed. 

Father , one-legged , 
gets Ground on crutches, 
lives on welfare, 
old, white-haired, 
gentle-faced, soft-voiced, 
waits for weekends 
to be with his son. 

After they kiss goodbye, 
he asks God, 
"Who * 3 gonna love him 
when I'n gone?" 



Robert "Gap" Webb 



I AINT GOT THE TIME 

I aint got the tine 

I aint got the nergy 

To be wasting ny valuable tine 

On sone unnecessary poor butt jive 

I ciean, it doesn't nake any sense 

For ne to get involved 

The last tine I did, I lost 

More than I gained 

The conflicting problems I encountered 

Are still far fron being solved 

in need of an innediate solution. 
My intelligence was so abused 

I thought of being mentally nained 
So you see, I just aint got the tine 
I'n steadily trying to keep a dine 
Even ny woman cracked on ne 
"If you want the honey 
Give up the money 
If you want to play 
You've got to pay 
If you want to be with ne 
You've got to finance the fee 
I'll check you out later, cause I 
Just aint got the tine. 



DIARY ENTRY 

September 29, 1982 Hew York City, 
New York 

On this day I was told, not so po- 
litely (Judy had a horrible way with 
words ) , to leave the Goldberg ' s humble 
upper East-side condo. "Go out and do 
SOMETHING for about three or four 
hours." The Goldbergs were having 
conpany. I guess they did not want their 
guests to know they were housing a 
Protestant in their daughter's befroon. 
It was a Jewish holiday of sons sort, 
so I took that opportunity to check out 
a novie I'd been planning to see — The 
World According to Garp. 

I had just finished the book a few 
days before. I'd been told the movie 
nade more sense if you read the novel- 
first. I LOVED the book. It proved 
to be a great source of inspiration 
for writing, and was off-the-wall 
enough, to keep ny attention. Finally, 
seeing the film fulfilled ny visual 
curiosity. I had certain images of 
each character. The casting was an 
exceptional representation of those 
images. The whole two~and-a"'balf imurs 
in ny theatre seat were extremely plea- 
surable;; well worth the five-spot. But 
as I left the theatre, I felt Gar" '-3 
"undertoad" approaching . 

On the corner, uptown from the 
theatre, there were ambulances and 
gawking people. Everyone was looking 
up. 

I've always looked down on people 
who enjoy seeing others' miseries. 
You know— similar to the kids in the 
old neighborhood wanting to follow 
the fire trucks. One day I rushed in- 
side to tell Mon that I_ was going to 
hop on ny bike and follow those big 
red trucks. 

"No you ' re not . " 

"But WHY Mon?!" 

"Do you really want to see oth- 
ers' problems and nisfortunes?" 

I haven't ever wanted to since 
then. She made a lon~~-lasting impact. 
She also hates being referred to as 
"she." Sorry Mon. 

Ton Van Horn 



4:-& #«-»#«# 



Debbie Morris 



HAI KU 

Sunshine slowly fades 
shadows growing long and thin 
black as ink of night 



-24- 



IN CONGRESS 

Most nenbers of our legislative branch 
spend too little time in their seats or 

houses. 
Most are pork-barreling or special int- 
eresting. 
When elected by those who vote 
they're sent to Washington, D. C. 
and then, they are incongruous. 




Stacy Siedermann 

m MAILBOX TALKS 

Write me a letter 

I'm hungry as hell. 

Stuff me with envelopes 

and I'll soon feel well. 

Pull my arm up, 

open my door.* 

Use ©e, people I 

What do you think I'm for? 



******** 



Judy Belfield 



AN ABBREVIATED VISIT WITH AUOTHER HEH30ABE 



I died yesterday— again. Passed over 
to the other side. Didn't see any bright, . 
white light* Didn't hear any heavenly mu- 
sic. Mother wasn't "spec tin me."' Father 
wasn't "wait in"— only maggots yelling, 
?? Hold still, hold still!" So 1 came back 
again»-here ? where I can talk to something 
mort than bugs and the dark, 

I was out in that d©s®rt a long time. 
Almost fried be©, and that 8 a a fact. After 
while,' though, it got to b© a contest fee- 
tw®@n m and the sua— who could beat who— 
you know? But wh©& the moon started to 
shin© up there in the cool, black sky, 
why » « « that was heaven. Y@©« " At night; 
the air was so cool, so fresh, so sweet, I 
could lick it. Xes. The more I think of 
it, the more convinced I am— that was hea- 
ven. 

But the daytime, t the dry, dry throat ' 
.in the daytime , when the sand sparkles* 
And way o£f«~b®eause your eyes play tricks— 
the sand shimmers like a great ochre ocean, 
lazy tan water rippling ever so slightly* 
But you can't get to it. You never reach 
it. It feeeps gliding out and away, further 
and further. And you know you're not going 
to get to it, but you keep trying. You keep 
walking, even though your clothes are soaked 
with sweat, and you're tired, and you're 
baking . . • baking • • • 

Your feet burn, your muscles ache. La- 
ter on ? when the sun gets high, you take 
some clothes off and wipe them across your 
skin. But they're as hot as you are, and 
there's no comfort. When the thirst gets 
really bad, when your lips crack and your 
windpipe thickens, you even try to suck 
the sweat from your shirt. But you don't 
get anything. And you keep moving, not 
getting anywhere • . . 



Then the sun sets* You in your - 
skin, which flames when you touch it : 
cause you never should have taken off 
your shirt, I don't care how tanned 
you are, your hot skin feels a slight 
slight— breeze* And that's the begin- 
ning of heav®n e The darkfcese • • • 
cool and delicious • • . better than 
the juiciest pear that ever dribbled 
down your chin . • • 

But now I'm here* I causs back tt 
tell you about the desert, but it seet 
to fad®. It fades, .her® in ihe dark- 
ness, and I, can hardly remember what 
it was like any more* Catch the few, 
quick memories now— before I forget 
altogether. 

I died yesterday. Yes. But the^ 
wasn't any light. None. It was dark 
■4 » like here* Except, there w&sn-'t 
anybody to talk to. It was lonely. E 
not like the desert. There, I had son 
thing to reach for— even though I was 
never going to reach it. I forget whs 
it was. I forget ... now. 

So, I came back. Here, To you. 
To talk* 

Could you, maybe, turn on that 1:. 
so I can see what's crawling on my anc 
What? The light. It's oprer there soci 
place— I forget exactly where. 

Itchy . • . itchy. Can't you fin: 
the light? Crawly. Could you speak uj 
What's that? Eh? Could you speak up- 
just a little? Something seems to be i 
my ears. Itchy . • . crawly.. Come clc 
ser. I can't hear you* 

Can't find me in the dark? Folic* 
the sound of my voice . . . TRY! Here! 
This way J This— errraghl They're in 
my — agggh. 

Gra • . • 



-25- 



Jean Tyrell 



C. L. Weatherford 



WRITER'S LAMENT 



REFLECTIONS 



I've no nore paper in the house. 
Writing's turned ne into a grouse. 
Friends don't call ne on the phone. 
It's better, then I'll be alone. 

For shards of paper hear ny words, 
Like ancient friends, still deterred. 
It hides beneath this ness of nine, 
Poetry, in need of rhyne. 

******** 

Anita Rutkowski 



THE END OF DEVOTION? 

As I near the tree 
where we carved our devotion, 
the snow reflected sunlight has 
blinded ny nind's picture of you. 
A tired breeze pronpts our teee 
to whistle gently. 

As I stand by the edge of the lake, 

ny nind crushes its icy covering 

and lures its sunner nenories 

to surface. 

The sharp caw of a winter bird 

distracts ne fron ny thoughts. 

Lifting ny head to the crisp, cool air, 
I can't renenber what, I was thinking. 
Sonething soft and warn brushes against 
ny cheek, and it evokes a sob fron 
deep inside of ne. With it cones the 
reenergence of ny thoughts . . . 
If ny nenories cone back, why can't you? 

******** 

Clarence Reid 



THE BOTTLE 



As I sto°d upon the shore 
And looked across the sea 
I saw a snail dark bottle 
Cone floating in toward ne. 

I waded out to get it 
To see if it contained 
A note or sonething foreign 
Excitenent was ingrained. 

As I twisted off the cork 

There was a tell-tale stink 

As you've doubtless guessed by now 

It was full of India ink. 

******** 



-26- 



I looked into the river 
To see what I night see, 
And the stranges thing I saw. 
I saw what looked like ne! 

There was a nan with a beard 

And grey-green eyes. 

No wrinkles he had, 

Yet his face seened wise. 

He had grey at the tenple, 
And a snile on his lips, 
As if he knew life 
Were at his fingertips. 

Not only that 

But a tear in his eye. 

Yes, yes, 

I saw this grown nan cry. 

I took a closer look. 
He fell off his bank! 
No joy overcane ne 
As he unwillingly sank. 

******** 

Pat Roener 



PROSPECTIVE CHILD 

pretty, so sweet 

jasper and teak • 

a r every, 

a jubilee, 

so frail, 

she lies still, quietly 

rooting for life. 

odds are against this 

little willow. 

is there strength enough 

to natch our needs 

precious babe? 

a rise of breast, such 

as to ^ear a breathless 

hu hu. 

I bend to kiss and 
whisper hush . . . 

. . . hush 
I 
Love 
You. 

******** 

Paul Houser 



JOGGING 

Journeying 

Out to 

Get a 

Gruesone pain that 

Increases with each 

Nagging 

Gate 



******** 



Sandra Reardon 
RAPE 

Pain talks over the phone, gently, 
with soft ■ . nek ;r ->ur. I music. It 
infrrms: "If you -■-< t/i work today 
terrible thin - s - - nna h«v r ocn tc 
your family," and, "Yuur "au -liter 
is in Tennessee-. Cone an 1 . *ct 
her," and "Carnen died this n«rnin-^- 
Then it penetrates. 
Pain sits in the big soft Morris c 
chair in the living roon, wearing 
ny mother's blue wool dress and 
emanating the fragrance of the 
cologne I gave her for Christinas. 
It say s , casually, "Your father 
doesn't live here anymore." 
Then it pierces. 
Pain walks the streets, wearing 
denim jeans and jacket, hiding 
behind a pleasant boyish snile. 
In inquires, innocently, "Does the 
bus stop at the next corner?" 
Then it violates. 

******** 



Dave O'Brien 



THE DRUMMER'S BAUDS 

Freshly shaven heads 

And aninal breath 

The warrior children 

March to the beat of death drums, 

The cadence rolls; 

Wise patriarchs, 

The drummer's hands 

******** 

Stacy Biedemann 

I LUV FOOD! 

I look in the mirror • 

and what do I see? 

Dimply cellulite 

all over me. 

The wiggly, jiggly fat 

on my thighs 

is extremely up;ly 

and does not attract guys. 

The fat on my butt 

has a tendency to wiggle, 

and people that look 

always giggle. 

These lumps, bumps, and bulges 

ara driving me insane. 

How can I diet 

without any pain? 

I've tried to diet 

but I get hunger attacks 

and find myself at McDonalds 

eating five Bi^ Macs. 

******** 



Charlotte Pennington 



LIKE THE WIND 

Like the wind through the trees, 

you move, with such ease. 

Perfection speaks through every notion 

the way you smile 

is expressed with such style! 

And your eyes speak out every emotion. 

You're so near, yet so far — 
like the great northern Star 
whose light shimmers on 
through the darkness. 

Though you'll never be mine 

I can dream to pass trie and help 

soften reality's starkness. 

******** 

Jennifer Jones 



MONSTERS 

Fears, and other Black Things 

hide in dark places ... 

Be careful when you open a closet door, 

or enter a lightless room . . . 

And don't dare leave your arm dangle 

over the side of the bed as you sleep . 

Panting struggles with deadly sheets 

during sleep. 

Throttle the pillow lying in 

menacing Wait. 

Panic upon waking. 

Relief blossoms: 

a velvety magenta rose of calm, 

a hastily flicked lightswitch 

floods a cold room 

with waves of "olden light, 

causing every reflective object 

to glitter responsively — 

Succour from fear's doorstep. 

******** 

Eileen Darin 



THE SUMMER SUN 

The summer sun, blazing bright 

Seagulls soaring in their flight 

Couples walking near the lake 

Leaving ffotprints in their wake, 

Bathing in the summer heat 

Kicking sand between my feet 

Hearing children's playful yells 
Watching others look for shells. 

Sleeping on a golden beach 
All my worries out of reach 

Waking to the call of friends 

Just before the sun's day ends. 






■27- 



******** 



Susan Zupancic 



Judy Belfield 



III THE MIDST OF PUERTO RICAN VEGETARIANS 

Surrounded by 6 white 

walls 

an adjoining bathroom 

leading 

to vhon we do not know 

dark "blue curtains 
and no light "bulbs 
in the fixtures 

open to the seasons all 

year round 

only screens for windows 

t'hat 

supposedly 

keep the bit^-ng insects out 

in addition of all of the above 

artificial aire 

cold 

pushing hot 

out 

where it belongs 

so we can close the door 

on the Puerto Rica 21 vegetarians 



PRINCESS DOE 

Her body was dunped 

in a spot where high weeds grew 

and choked the grass. 

She was found weeks later — 

too nuch later to tell who she was- 

The cop in charge 

named her Princess Doe: 

"Jane" was too easy to forget. 

Months passed— 

the dead girl remained a mystery. 

People in the town 

thought she should be put . to rest . 

They bought a plot 

arranged services 

brought flowers 

cried. 

Somebody's princess again. 



##*#*#*# 



Robert "Gap" Webb 



Adios ! 



»*»**«»* 



Ton Van Horn 



CHARLEY BROWN 

I knew. I didn't like to think about 
it. Charley Brown knew I was aware. My 
wife didn't recognize any of the signs 
as being meaningful and I declined to 
discuss the natter with her. I'd hoped 
she'd become a little more tolerant of 
his ways. She didn't. I considered ta- 
king some vacation tine to spend more 
hours with Charley. I didn't. 

The visits to the v e t, became more and 
more frequent as July became August. His 
doctor did everyth x ng possible. However, 
by mid-August, Charley's tumor had grown 
too large. The insulin shots for his 
diabetes were painful for both dog and 
master. And Charley Brown's epileptic 
seizures seems I more persistent. 

Near Labor Day, some very unwelcone 
guests can©. Severe and constant thunder 
storns "-ade the ir stay well known. For 
almost a week, they lingered with manacing 
friends — high winds and lightning. The 
poor dog had always been afraid of bad 
weather. His condition and the severity 
of the storms made it all much worse. 

On the thrid day of September, it 
began to storm about 10 p.m. By midnight, 
I had turned on the bedroom light to les- 
sen the frightening effect of the uncom- 
promising lightning. The loud and con- 
stant pelting of wind-blown rain on the 
windovs and the deafening explosions 



-28- 



AGE 

We tend to fear old age 

as some sort of disorder that can be 

cured 
with the proper brand of aspirin 
or perhaps a bit of Ben-Gay for the 

shoulders 
It does of course pay to adve r tise 

One hates the idea of the first gray 

hair 
a shortness of breath 
devastating blows to the ego 
indications we are doing 
what comes naturally 

of thunder were even beginning to cause 
me some concern. Charley was totally 
incapable of coping. I conjectured 
this was God' a way of calling for my 
companion. If so, it was cruel. 

From ray arms, to the floor, to 
the foot of the bed, to an impossible 
scramble to hide under the bed . . . 
from crying to whimpering, from eyes and 
mind glazed with fear, from pain to 
fatigue to frustration, from a des- 
perate need for attention and comfort 
to the instinct to hide or run away, 
it was an execrable night of despair. 
The deluge hurled unrelentingly. 
Finally, at some a.m. , exhausted and 
overwhelmed, Charley found sleep. I 
cried. 

The next morning's trip to the 
vet was marked by an overpowering si- 
lence. Charley Brown's usu-l incessant 

(continued) 



Charley Brown, continued 



barking was not to be. He was traveling 
his last nile in dignity. A twelve-year, 
eternal love affair was about to end. I 
desperately held back ny tears as I parked 
the car. Our eyes net. I think we both 
knew this would be our last, precious, 
private nonent together. I wanted to tell 
hin how sorry I was for every tine I'd 
been less than understanding of tolerant. 
The dog's 'devotional gaze convinced ne 
that he understood. He had always 
dreaded kisses but allowed this last one 
to reach his ncee. 

I fought the inevitable tears through- 
out the work day. That night, I fought 
no nore. 

My job suffered as all thoughts 
were reniniscenses of our joyous years 
together. Fron the nonent we net, there 
was a nutual adoration. Over the years, 
I learned to connunicate without the use 
of words. A sinple gesture by Charley 
brought ny instant response and vice- 
versa. 



H«ver one for fondling or affection, 
he was nonetheless, genuinely and un- 
selfishly loving. He helped to ful- 
fill ny life. I didn't want to let 
hin go. Selfishly, I wanted at least 
one nore long walk in the woods with 
ny friend. I wanted to tell hin a 
nillion things. I wanted to love hin 
and be loved by hin. 

Septenber 7 was to be Charley 
Brown's last day on earth. I had to 
nake the call. The doct-r offered his 
professional advice: "The best thing 
we can do for old Charley Brown is to 
put hin to sleep." 

My voice cracked as I agreed. ■ I 
had to play God. 

For several weeks, I walked the 
sane paths we'd once taken so gleeful- 
ly. Each tine, I cried a little less. 
My life will never be the sane. A part 
of ne died with Charley Brown. 



******** 



Anita Rutkowski 



Charlotte Pennington 



ALONE 



UNTITLED 



You left ne here, alone, 

so you could start your ascent. 

Yau clinbed too fast, 

hardly anyone could see you. 

I did. 
I sat for days, weeks, nonths 
watching you stunble 
take snail spills, 
and get hurt. 
You kept oh clinbing and 
didn't look down at ne. 
A few passerbys would 
glance at you, be with you, then leave. 

I stayed. 
I'n still down here, alone, 
and it's getting hard to see you, 
but I strain ny eyes and 
your inage cones to ne. 
You're noving *ast — very fast, 
and no one is with you n ow. 

No one but ne. 
You've lost your footage and you're falling 
but in your quick descent you think of ne— 
w-aiting for you — and ycu know you 
will survive. 

You hit the ground and look for ne 
but I an not around. 

******** 

Jennifer Jones . 



LOOK AT ME 

I an flaming Red, 

cold ultranarine Blue, 
warn sunwashed Gold, 
S-eking a similar wild intensity 
in a sullen, grey universe. 

******** 



Part I 

Part of ne is on paper 

^art of ne stays on your nind 

-art of me turns into vapor 

Partly cloudy — most of the tine 

Part II 

Part of ne is unending 

Part of ne delves into tine 

Part of ne is renenbering 

What goes on in that part 

of ny nind 
Part III 

For ages and ages 

and through the torn pages- 

Part of me stays on your mind. 

******** 

Susan Zupancic 



UNTITLED 

Coffee — oh the sweet smell of . . 
CAFFEINE!!! 

I think I could actually drink the 
stuff all day Ion":. At night — just when 
I think I'm fally peacefully asleer>, 
a giant Mr. Coffee maker starts brewing. 
The tantalizing, rich, Java smells 
linger under ny dozing olfacot^sy organ; 
whispering, "Awaken, awaken, ny slumber- 
ing victim. Come here and taste this 
delicious brew-" Of course, I wake up 
and drink "the WHOLE THING". Up all 
night, I realize what a stupid cunt I 
an for taking that stimulant at such a 
late hour. POOF! Oh, thank god, it 
was just a dream. A whiff of coffee 
probably blew in the window f orn the 
d iner downstairs . 



-29- 



***' 



** 



Eileen Darin 



Judy Uelfield 



EYES 



THE MORE THINGS CHANGE 



His eyes pierce ne 
reading from head 

t 

o 
toe 
ny thoughts 
my feelings 

leaving nothing untouched 
born blue 

chameleon in nature 
his ey^s adjust to the situation 
intelligence and stren :th are seen in hin 
confidence abounds 

why ne? 

why do ny eyes renain open 

for him to enter 

an I so naive 

or only trusting 



They watched us 

clean their closets, 

tossing out useless yesterdays, 

burning their flags, 

heaping dusty norals t 

int- the trash. 

Our young ninds 

thrashed in cobwebbed corners, 

found hypocrisy, 

intolerance, 

inhunanity. 
These, we discarded also. 

They witched us, 

horror creeping through their bones 

outrage coursing in their veins . 

We tried to talk. 

They laughed.. 

We screaned in. the streets. 



if I close then 

would he leave 

do I want hin to go 

another day 

for now he is nine. 



One day, they listened . . . 
one day, a long tine ago — 
before we built closets of our 



own, 



%%*****« 



Susan Zuoancic 



Jennifer Jones 



PEOPLE 

A teening, writhing, sweaty mass 

of hunid stench . ... 

Loud hunan ignorance swelling to a 

horrible crescendo 

in the sc r 'pe of ny sight, 

I an sickened and repulsed — 

they invade ny space, r^y world . . . 

insensate beings, swine, self-fulfilling. 

Grunting in self-righteous glo-y, 

wallowing in earh others' passionless swe 

nouths full of enpty pronises, 

shallow laughter, 

Shouting, Wanting, Demanding. 

The pulsing, throbbing crowd ningles 

with the scenery 

of gaudy advert is enents . . . 

screaning for attention in chorus: 

nelding to foam a horrible kaleidoscope. 

In sadness, I an earthbound. 



at, 



HERE WE ARE AGAIN 

Here we are again — flying through the 
infinite nunber of air molecules. .Lower 
O2 though, on the way to Colorado — hone 
hone where all the aninals roan. Forest 
& Field & Open Strean. A place where one 
can build a drean-city — called DENVER. 
Si nuch cenent (you just 10 crazy), 
nothing to do (you just get lazy)— layin' 
around in a hotel roon. 

Ton Van Horn 



Jean Tyrell 



,r OTO~L\SSIP 



Wind t.aisils h-jr hair 

A collie T- a Earley seat 



.-^ 



Linrl li^r owr.ir. 



ON MY WIFE 

My wife possesses an unusual talent. 
I guess we all have one. Sone can juggle 
oranges while whistling. Sone can hop 
on .one foot while rubbing their head and 
patting their stonach. I think her skill 
char/oions all. I've wondered often if 
I shouldn't inforn Guinnsss, 

I'n not sure ny wife's ability is 
unique to her. Sone other Person nirht 
be capable of the same feat. I, however, 
would doubt it. I don't think ny wife 
was taught. I don't believe she's read 
about it. When we were first narried, 
she couldn't or didn't do it. I can't re- 
call the exact date it began. I do know 
she's been doing it now for several years. 

Althought she excels at what she 
does, she perfoms only for ne. In -' "- 
dition to the difficulty factor, ny wife 

(continued) 



-00- 



On My Wife, continued 



must perform only at a precise tine. She 
does it only in "bed. Only at night. Hot 
every night. Just some. We don't know 
what prompts her. She's even performed 
for ne in hotels both here and abroad. 
None of our children have inherited her 
skill. Perhaps, because they're all males. 
Can only females do it? 

Every night, in bed, my wife initial- 
ly lies en her stomach. There is no 
force in this universe powei*ful enough 
to change this habit. We both tell the 
dog goodnight. Next, we say goodnight to 
each other. It's at this point I'm some- 
times fearful. Will this be one of her 
performance nights? Never knowing exact- 
ly when it will happen can be brutal. 

My wife has never bragged about 
it. In fact, she's denied having done the 
thing. I know she does it. I have no 
documented proof . Only on those nights 
it occurs, I wish someone else could be 
in our bedroom. 3e there, just to confirm 
what my wife is capable of doing. On those 
nights, at the exact time I begin to fall 
asleep, my wife turns over. Her timing 
amazes me. The act of turning one's body 
from lying on the stomach to lying on the 
back seems rather simple. It probably 
is in millions of bedrooms. Nor, should 
this basic maneuver require any special 
comment. My wife's method does. 

She is able to raise her entire body 
some twelves inches off the bed. She 
then rotates her body remaining supine. 
As if she were levitating. Her body 
thrust moves the mattress enough to awak- 
en me. Usually, there would be no prob- 
lem. I should be back to sleep in a mat- 
ter of moment s . However, for an intermi- 



Judy Belfield 



PERSISTENCE 

Each second a forever — 

a Faulkner sentencs 

now and then a comma, 

a teasing breeze 

promising the end: 

Relief with nightfall 

when the songs of cicadas 

in the black-leafed trees 

blend with the cool, cool dusk . . . 

but for now 
endure . 

******** 

nable time, my wife can remain suspended 
in air. It's as if only one shoe had 
dropped. I know she eventually has 
to fall. When? This is her coup, ds 
grace . She waits until I'm back to the 
part where I'm just about asleep. 
Her precision is masterful. At that 
exact moment, she falls. !Tcw on her 
back. Once again, I'm awakened. 

As quickly as I can mrke words 
from angry thoughts, I begin to scold 
her. By my second word, I stop. By 
this time, she's always snoring. Her 
X^erformance curtails my snorinr* tLic 
for hours. I wonder if some night 
she'll be capable of reversing the 
act. God, I hope not. 



Eileen Darin 



******** 



Paul Houser 



BLACK BALL 

triangle points to me 

position my smooth stick 

between slickened fingers 

solid shape disperses 

now fifteen equal s;pheres 

one by one 

disappearing 

into the dark receptacles 

of their hiding 

'til the lone one remains 

now pitted against each 

head to head 

he aims 

miss 

I aim 

r:?.ss 

again he fails 

anticipation swells 

concentration is key 

steadfast glares 

at varying angles 

decision made 

action taken 

my eyes 

catch the black dropping 

into my desired corner 

T win! 

******** 



DOG 

Digging 

Out 

Garden 

******** 



Stacy Biedermann 



THE BUS RIDE 

These seats are so uncomfortable. 
I don't think I've ever ridden on a plane, 
train, or bus without being uncomfortable. 
It wouldn't be half as bad if Mr. Big wasn't 
sitting right next to me. Not only is 
this guy big, but he smells bad and is 
sucking on a cigar that looks like it went 
through both wars. 

(continue-"' 



■31- 



The Bus Ride, continued 



Maybe he* 11 get off at the next stop . • • 
I hope so 8 Let's see, 1 get off at Green- 
castles so asy luck, he'll get off there 
also , 

I wonder if this guy is some sicko. 
He's wearing these gay sunglasses, and 
his beady eyes behind the glasses are 
darting all over the place. I wonder what 
he's thinking* I wonder if he's thinking 
what I'b thinking, or if he knows I'm 
thinking about him* 

Hare got®, I'm dying to hear" his 



"So ? uh, wh@r@ you headed to?" 
With the highest soprano voice I hat® 
ever heard, this guy said* "CJreencastle, 

and how about you, little lady?" 

I turned , looked away § and said in a 
low and uninterested voice* "Greencastle." 
What luck. The stench is staying with me 



«T.4 4 



Little Lady? what's your name?" 
"Ua, I 5 es Lucy," I said. 
"I have 'a' niece Lucy," said the fatty. 



*4E4rg«*««i 




"Oh really," X said 9 not really 
paying attention. 

' "She hasn't ©een m® since she wa;.. 
about three. 1 should say, 1 haven't 
seen her since she was thre-- 

"Hbbssi, why not?" I aske&« 
. . "Weil, she and her saeihei left 
Jisssysvilla when she was ireijy young, 
and moved to the other side of the 
world it's® ems * " 

By this time of the conversation, 
paid close attention. X couldn't be) 
what I was hearing. This fat guy smc 
a musty old cigar was my long -lost 
Uncle Blimpolae 

"Uaele Blimpola," I said very 
light ^.y. 

,? IiU8y . * « Lu$y, um, Dresdon. 7 
that you?" • • ■ • - 

"Yes, Uttele « • . it's ■••" As I 
talked j I thought to ogrself he. I'd 
giv® anything t© get off the? bus at 
the ntsst atop and let Uncle El ! spola 
stink hisiseif te death ©s that ^assn 




»32- 




j£NMtF*A»JOm$